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Mission to map rural India’s cultural assets

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    14th Apr, 2023


In a bid to harness the unique cultural heritage of rural India, the government has identified and documented distinctive features of more than one lakh villages across the country under the ‘Mera Gaon meri Dharovar’ programme.

About the development:

  • In this initiative of cultural asset mapping, villages have been broadly divided into seven-eight categories based on;
    • Whether they are important ecologically, developmentally and scholastically,
    • If they produce a famous textile or product, and
    • If they are connected to some historical or mythological events such as the Independence struggle or epics like the Mahabharata.
  • For example:
    • The ecological category includes the Bishnoi village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan, which is a case study for living in harmony with nature, and Uttarakhand’s Raini village, which is famous for the Chipko movement.
    • There are also villages which have developmental importance like Modhera in Gujarat, which is the first solar-powered village in India.

The NMCM aims to develop a comprehensive database of art forms, artists and other resources across the country.

Though launched by the Culture Ministry in 2017, the programme got off to a slow start and was handed over to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) in 2021.

    • The villages under the historical category include Kandel in Madhya Pradesh, the site of the famous ‘Jal Satyagraha’, and the villages of Hanol in Uttarakhand and Vidurashwathar of Karnataka, which are linked to the Mahabharata.
  • The entire exercise has been carried out the National Mission for Cultural Mapping (NMCM).

Mera Gaon meri Dharovar programme:

  • Launched by: Our PM launched on July 25, 2015, in Patna.
  • Implemented by:
    • The Ministry of Culture has partnered with the Common Services Centres (CSC), under the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MEITY).
  • Aim: The survey seeks to document the cultural identity at the village level by involving citizens to share what makes their village, block, or district unique.
  • Data collection:
    • Under the survey, a CSC Village Level Entrepreneur called VLEs will conduct meetings with citizens at the villages and then upload interesting facts about their village, its places of interest, customs and traditions, famous personalities, festivals and beliefs, art and culture, etc., on to the application.
    • Village level Cultural asset mapping shall be undertaken through Field Surveys involving Respondents.
    • CSC Village level Entrepreneurs (VLE) shall be deployed for the same across all villages in the country.

Other related government schemes:

  • Kala Sanskriti Vikas Yojana,
  • Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and
  • Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

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