The Monument Mitra Scheme is a program that allows individuals and organizations to adopt and maintain heritage sites under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The program is being revamped to allow private companies to partner with the ASI for the upkeep of 1,000 monuments. This partnership will help to improve the maintenance and preservation of these important cultural heritage sites, and will also provide a way for private companies to contribute to their community and give back to society.
Overview of Monument Mitra Scheme
The Monument Mitra Scheme individuals and organizations to adopt and maintain heritage sites under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)‘s jurisdiction. The program was designed to help improve the maintenance and preservation of important cultural heritage sites and to provide a way for individuals and organizations to contribute to their community and give back to society.
Under the scheme, individuals or organizations can adopt a heritage site and take on the responsibility of maintaining it. This includes tasks such as cleaning and upkeep, restoration work, and providing security.
The Monument Mitra Scheme is a way for people and organizations to get involved in preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of India, and to play a role in protecting the country’s rich history and architectural heritage for future generations.
The goal of the program is to improve the visitor experience and promote these sites as tourist destinations, with the hope that it will increase the number of tourists and their spending, which will in turn boost the economy.
What is Monument Mitras?
Under the Monument Mitra Scheme, private individuals and organizations who adopt and maintain historical monuments and sites are referred to as “Monument Mitras.” This name is intended to convey the idea that these individuals and organizations are partnering with the government to preserve and promote India’s cultural heritage by taking on the responsibility of maintaining specific historical monuments or sites.
The term “Mitra” is derived from the Hindi word meaning “friend” or “ally“, which implies that these organizations and individuals are working closely with the government in a collaborative initiative to take care of these cultural heritage sites.
The scheme aims to make these “Monument Mitras” responsible for the maintenance, conservation, and beautification of the adopted monuments/sites, and to create a sense of participation, ownership, and pride among the citizens toward their cultural heritage.
Categorization of Historical Monuments and Sites under the Monument Mitra Scheme
The Monument Mitra Scheme categorizes historical monuments and sites into three different categories based on their tourist footfall and visibility. These categories are “Green”, “Blue” and “Orange”.
- Green Category: Green category includes Iconic sites that are well-known and have a high number of tourist visitors, such as the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, and Red Fort, among others.
- Blue Category: Blue category includes sites that have moderate tourist visitors, such as Purana Quila and Jantar Mantar.
- Orange Category: Orange category includes sites that have very less tourist visitors, such as the Sanchi Stupa.
This system of categorization allows the government to prioritize which sites need the most attention and resources, and to target private individuals and organizations who may be best suited to adopt and maintain each specific site. It also helps in creating a sense of participation, ownership, and pride among the citizens toward their cultural heritage.
Further, the adoption of only “Green” category monuments is not allowed. This is likely because the government wants to ensure that these sites are protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy. Instead, the focus will be on “Blue” and “Orange” category monuments which are considered to be less well-known, less visited, and need more attention in terms of maintenance and conservation.
The Target of the Monument Mitra Scheme
The program has been revamped, with the goal of handing over 500 sites to private individuals and organizations by the end of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, which is a celebration of India’s independence, on August 15, 2023. This means that the government aims to transfer the ownership and maintenance of 500 historical monuments and sites to private individuals and organizations by this date.
Also Read: MGNREGA Scheme
Previous and Revised Scheme
Previous Version of Scheme:
- The previous version of the Monument Mitra Scheme was led by the Ministry of Tourism.
- This means that the responsibility for the program and its implementation was with the government agency responsible for promoting and developing tourism in India.
Revised Version of Scheme:
- Under the revised scheme, the Ministry of Culture will lead the program.
- This change in leadership may reflect a shift in priorities or a desire to focus more specifically on the preservation and promotion of historical monuments and sites as cultural heritage rather than primarily as tourist attractions.
Benefits of the Monument Mitra scheme
The revamped Monument Mitra program offers several benefits for both private firms and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):
- Improved preservation of cultural heritage: By partnering with private firms, the ASI will have additional resources to maintain and preserve heritage sites. This will help to ensure that these important cultural landmarks are preserved for future generations to enjoy.
- Corporate social responsibility opportunities: Private firms will have the opportunity to showcase their commitment to social responsibility by adopting and maintaining a heritage site. This can help to improve the company’s reputation and build a positive relationship with the community.
- Raising awareness about heritage preservation: This will help to raise awareness about the importance of preserving cultural heritage. Moreover, it can inspire others to get involved in similar initiatives and help to build a culture of heritage conservation in the country.
- A platform for private firms to engage in social initiatives: This partnership provides a platform for private firms to engage in meaningful and impactful social initiatives.
- Generates Employment: This partnership will create job opportunities for people and will help in the economic development of the region.
- Better Visitor Experience: With the private firms involved in the maintenance, the visitor’s experience will enhance, and it will attract more tourists, which will be beneficial for the development of the region.
The Monument Mitra Scheme is a commendable initiative by the Indian government that aims to preserve and promote the country’s rich cultural heritage. By involving private individuals and organizations, the scheme not only helps in the conservation and maintenance of historical monuments and sites but also creates a sense of participation, ownership, and pride among citizens toward their cultural heritage.
Further, this scheme is a step in the right direction towards enhancing the tourism experience and promoting these sites as tourist destinations, which will in turn boost the economy. Overall, this is a great effort by the government to ensure that these cultural heritage sites are protected and preserved for future generations to enjoy.