25.01.2013 - UNESCO Office in New Delhi

Punjab State on Move for Cultural Heritage Policy

Phukari - An embroidery technique from Punjab (India)

Since December 2012, UNESCO resumed the collaboration with the Government of Punjab to develop a State level policy on Cultural Heritage for Sustainable Development.  Despite its rich cultural heritage, the cultural assets in Punjab have remained relatively untapped.   In addition to some hundreds of State protected monuments, Punjab has countless number of unprotected heritage structures. The State is also a hub to a wide variety of dance, theatres, songs, martial arts, and rural sports, some of which are however on the verge of extinction. 

Following the agreement between UNESCO and the Government of Punjab, UNESCO New Delhi is coordinating and monitoring a team of experts who are looking into the challenges and opportunities of built heritage, museums, archives, and intangible cultural heritage in the current institutional and legal context of the State of Punjab. Going beyond conventional heritage safeguarding policies, the exercise intends to suggest a policy framework that would concretely link these cultural assets to local empowerment.

This policy framework attempts thus to review cultural assets as vehicles of: 

  • Safeguard of community memory and identity
  • Social inclusion and livelihood improvement
  • Reconciliation and peace building 

Currently, field work is underway to map heritage assets and conduct community consultations. The expert team is expected to finalize the survey and the draft of a Policy Framework and Action Plan by December 2013.  

Punjab is probably the first state in India that has taken the radical step to review cultural policy from the angle of development agenda.  If successful, it should set a model for other states of India.   

<- Back to: Dynamic Content Single View
Back to top