A digital resource for histories between the 17-19th century in Chinsurah

One of the most important tools for urban heritage management is community engagement, which empowers the people to identify key values in their urban areas, articulate their aspirations and visions for the town. The interpretation strategy worked with a two-pronged approach for community engagement to bring out the values associated with Chinsurah.

The first approach "Chinsurah looking at itself & the world" was aimed at engaging the local community to define what it considers valuable, what it wants to pass on to the next generation and thereby instilling a sense of pride within the community. The principal strategy was to involve the local community in the mapping process from the very onset. The aim was to build awareness around the significance of their heritage and assist them to play responsible stakeholders of their heritage. A group of community volunteers was formed that would assist the project team on the field survey, this core group was called the "Rangers". This had two advantages firstly that it built trust amongst the locals and allowed access and deeper penetration into the community who welcomed the survey team into their houses, shared their stories and views on the heritage of Chinsurah and secondly it became a word of mouth medium of dissemination of the information collected during the survey to the others in the community. Local enthusiasts and historians, school teachers came forward and shared their insight into the history of the town. Interviews were conducted with local residents, students, rickshaw pullers, teachers, doctors, people on the street to gauge the sense of place of Chinsurah, this was captured on video and has been composed into snippets that craft the identities and realities of those who live in and share the town.

A number of engagement activities spanning from a couple of hours to a fortnight were planned and executed with the community.

Read more: Paper on Interpretation Strategy by Ms Payal Wadhwa

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Last Updated on 11.01.2015

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