Nagpur: For the first time in the history of cultural documentation in India, a very laudable initiative was commenced and launched by the South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC), Nagpur in January 2016 to document the Tangible and Intangible cultural resources of South Central India which include the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana.
India is a vastly rich country in terms of its inherited culture and wisdom that has been passed on for several generations. We are blessed with a cornucopia of several diverse and colorful traditions which embed the daily life of its people. Unfortunately these revered traditions have been slowly, and in some cases rapidly, vanishing.The received wisdom from our ancestors is in danger of being lost to our future generations, said SCZCC Director Dr. Piyush Kumar.
In response to this, the SCZCC, under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, opened up a nation-wide call for applications to invite proposals to document the Tangible and Intangible resources. This was met with an overwhelming response from 187 applicants who submitted 250 proposals. These applications covered a range of tangible and intangible resources for documentation like classical dances, the lives of various tribes of India, literature’s, theater, yoga, cuisines, lesser known indigenous festivals, traditional games, architecture, traditional art forms, weaving.
SCZCC received projects proposing to document the resources in various forms like documentary films, coffee table books, web portals, monographs and podcasts. Dr Piyush Kumar, Director, SCZCC, commissioned this maiden unique effort by the Centre for the purpose of inviting experts in various fields to help preserve the cultural history of our nation. Critically acclaimed curator and art historian, Dr. Alka Pande was asked to curate and conceptualize this project. All applications were careful-ly scrutinized, individually and collectively by an eminent jury under the chairmanship of renowned film and television director Shyam Benegal. Other jury members included psycho-analyst and author Dr. Sudhir Kakarandactor director Amol Palekar. The jury met on April I land 12 in Mumbai to finalize the names.
They unanimously selected 17 applications for the purpose of documenting the resources of South Central India. Honorarium to the amount of Rs. 1 cr will be given to the selected applicants in regard with their proposals. The result of the contest has been uploaded on SCZCC’s website: www.sczcc.gov.in.
Dr Piush Kumar, while announcing the names, stated that such projects will help to conserve and preserve our rich tradition for the future generations. Shyam Senegal lauded the efforts taken by SCZCC in documentation of the unattended cultural resources. He stressed the need to preserve the dying oral traditions. Amol Palekar appreciated the idea and hoped that SCZCC continues this forward. Dr Sudhir Kakar said that such activity should be emulated by other zones to preserve the cultural resources.