According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Heritage is “the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.” These intangible attributes constitute the languages that are spoken, the traditional garments that are worn, the festivals that are celebrated and the food that is consumed. It is this heritage that becomes central to the DNA of any culture or society. Moreover, heritage is also said to constitute the buildings, monuments and historic places that add distinguishing character to any place.
Since 1972, UNESCO has designated 936 World Heritage Sites across the world. Of these, 36 sites are located in India. There are some parts of the country that likewise boast a vibrant heritage. Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana and one of India’s largest metropolitan cities, is one of them. With rich and widely recognised built and natural heritage sewn into its fabric, Hyderabad has a unique character, which sets it apart as the ‘City of Nizams’. Today, with the city rapidly changing in size, composition and structure, its heritage is at a great risk of demolition and erasure.
Why does Forum's work matter?
Heritage, whether it be natural, built or intangible, provides a sense of identity and community. While many of us might not appreciate its importance on a daily basis, it is imperative to preserve what generations before us held dear as we look towards the future.