DOCUMENTATION AND PROMOTION OF CULTURAL AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES AROUND THE SELECTED HERITAGE SITES IN PUNJAB
The government of Punjab is integrating economic growth with tourism, safeguarding ofcultural heritage, and promotion of cultural and creative industries with the financial support of the World Bank and technical assistance of UNESCO. The integrated strategy includes planning and development of sites and communities along withreformation of existing institutions or development of new ones. The plan at large aspires to integrate and address the needs of all the stakeholders including the stateorgans, communities, visitors, consumers, and commercial enterprises.
The project is focused on addressing challenges like conventional and vocational education for sustainable development, skills development; women empowerment; promotion of development-oriented policies towards enterprising milieu for jobs and wealth creation; sustainable tourism tailored towards economic development through cultural integration; indiscriminate socio-economic empowerment; safeguarding of cultural and natural heritage; and development of a conducive environment for lasting partnerships amongst all stakeholders.
The first phase of the project was the assimilation of verified information to ascertain the current status of myriad factors through comprehensive cultural mapping and database development. It is self-evident that no plans or policies are effective unless these are based on substantiated and thorough analysis of ground realities that vary from place to place and time to time and require systematic interventions for identification of opportunities, and mitigation of challenges along with their corresponding complexities.
Circuit 1 of the project included three districts in the north of the Punjab province namely Chakwal, Rawalpindi, and Khushab. These districts span on the vast expanse of the Potohar plateau with dilapidated infrastructure having a saturated job market as far as the traditional employment opportunities are concerned.
The cultural mapping of the subject areas required reaching out to the practitioners and beneficiaries of cultural and creative industries, the custodians of the heritage sites, and relevant government officials along with their surrounding communities. The strategy of exploration of new vistas in the ambit of cultural and creative industries along with capitalization on the rich and diverse human and natural resources will have a significant impact on the development of livelihood of the locals along with opening prospects for non-locals e.g. tourism, trade linkages, and socio-cultural promotion, etc.
OVER 200 INDIGENOUS FAMILIES
64 DAYS, 8 VENUES, 4 WORKSHOPS
Experienced trainers of Kaarvan immersed themselves in grassroots fieldwork for conducting trainings for 64 separate days spread over eight different venues in the community-based training centers in Taxila, Chakwal, Khushab, Rawalpindi, Kalar Kahar, and Khewra for the artisans around the heritage Sites of Katas Raj, Mankiala Stupa, Bhirmounnd, Dharmarajika and Taxila Museum – touching the lives of over 200 indigenous artisans’ families
In the next phase the project focused on capacity-building measures of all stakeholders through meetings, interactive sessions, and training workshops tailored towards the peculiar needs of the selected groups. Training plans, modules, and manuals were developed for the artisans and allied trades while intensive workshops were conducted with officials from the selected government departments for their capacity building.
In the end, exhibitions were designed to test the outcomes of project and imparted skills in the market. These exhibitions were held at high profile venues with a broad based participation by artisans and entrepreneurs. The exhibitions helped the artisans and the entrepreneurs have a first-hand exposure of their target market by interacting with consumers and understanding their requirements. These also paved way to create
sustainable market linkages through a decentralized model so that grass root level artisans could be included into the income generating exercise.