Monument Mitra: CSR Initiative to Develop Indian Monuments
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Monument Mitra: CSR Initiative to Develop Indian Monuments

India is known for its rich cultural heritage, and the country is home to many magnificent monuments that reflect its glorious past. The grandeur of Indian monuments is indeed unmatched and a testament to the architectural and engineering prowess of the Indian civilization. Unfortunately, however, the recent past has not been kind to many Indian monuments. Neglect, vandalism, pollution, overcrowding, and other factors have led to the deterioration.

The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) was established in 1861 with the sole purpose of maintaining and preserving the monuments. After Independence, the Responsibility was extended to renovating the Monuments declared the site of national importance. However, looking at the condition of various monuments in India, the working of ASI is questionable. This situation is despite the fact that Indians have a lot of respect for their Monuments and Heritage sites. Therefore, intellectuals across the spectrum demanded reform in how Indian monuments were handled.

The GOI In 2017 launched ‘Adopt A Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ to introduce Public Private Partnership (PPP) for developing, upgrading, and maintaining amenities at heritage sites, monuments, and tourist sites. The Public/Private sector companies can partner in the project by proposing to adopt heritage/ natural / tourist sites as per their interest and viability under the criteria provided in the project guidelines. The companies adopting the monuments will be called ‘Monument Mitras’.

The project initially covered 93 monuments managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), but it has since expanded to include various heritage, natural, and tourist sites throughout India. These sites were categorized according to their level of visibility and foot traffic. Monument Mitras can choose to adopt a package of sites based on their feasibility and support them through their corporate social responsibility efforts. In return, they will receive recognition on the monument premises and digital platforms.

After its inception, the Monument Mitra scheme has seen several modifications, the major being the transfer of this project from the Ministry of Tourism to the Ministry of Culture. Recently the Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Govind Mohan, announced the government would hand over around 1,000 monuments under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India to the private sector for their upkeep. The first lot of 500 sites will be handed in by the end of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav on 15 August 2023. Corporate entities will be given the Responsibility to develop these monuments as part of their Social Responsibility. These companies will revamp these monuments in terms of amenities, experience, tourism, etc.

Right now, some significant monuments and their Monument Mitras Include Red Fort and Gandikota Fort (AP) under Dalmia Bharat Ltd; Jantar Mantar under Apeejay Park Hotels; Qutub Minar, Ajanta Caves (Mah), Leh Palace and Hazara Rama Temple (Kar) under Yatra Online.

After this recent notification by the Ministry of Culture, many more are to join the exclusive list of Monument Mitra. This scheme has resulted in improved maintenance, conservation, and awareness. Overall, the Monument Mitra Scheme has significantly impacted Indian monuments by involving various stakeholders in their upkeep, generating employment opportunities, and promoting tourism.


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