The initiative was taken by a group of citizens trying to conserve and create awareness of its architectural heritage and its need to be restored and preserved. Activities were directed towards inculcating enough pride, leading to the desire to restore; to stop demolishing and to find creative ways for re-use; and most importantly to respect and spread awareness of the various ways we can achieve our goal. CHC was officially launched two years back with a photography exhibition titledVIVA which meansAlive in Spanish language. Similarly, the upcoming event Re VIVAL, will be a celebration of the preservation and restoration of this the beautiful building successfully, which was just bricks back then. It will be a constant reminder and makeus conscious of our cultural heritage and will reawaken Kolkata’s citizens. True to their mission of Respect, Restore and Reuse, they chose to launch at a grand old mansion, right next to marble Palace at 48 B Muktaram Babu Street, a mansion that was then stripped to bricks. Nothing can be more satisfying than celebrating its journey at the same place from where it all started. The mission had aptly mentioned a key phrase on the official launch to “Take a Call”, a call, if we as citizens want to see our heritage Destroyed, Decayed and Disappear or see it living as edifices of a magnificent and inspiring past, connecting our Today and Tomorrow. Over the last two years, CHC has successfully been involved in a variety of activities towards spreading Heritage Awareness. Mentioning the fact, World Heritage Day 2018 was celebrated in collaboration with Kolkata Port Trust where The Port Trust launched its Heritage Tour through Land and water called “A Voyage through Tide and Time.” A brilliant talk on “Who Owns Heritage” was held at the Maritime Museum by Educator and Heritage Activist, Vikramjit Singh Rooprai. A wonderful walk through the ancient Kumartuli just before the start of Pujas, which looked at the history and heritage of this historic area of Kolkata. This was followed by a photo exhibition at Ganges Art Gallery on photographs taken during he walk. Since then, CHC has organized several walks, highlighting various historic sites of the city like Metiaburz, history of the city Burrabazar and its mercantile history, Cornwallis Street and its revolutionary history, The East India Company Walk and associations with British history as well a Cruise through the historic Ghats of Ganges. Further, it has also hosted an interactive talk with Lord Charles Bruce and his efforts on conserving the Scottish association within the city.
CHC has also actively been involved with spreading Heritage Awareness amongst children by partnering with AKLF ( Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival) for holding Heritage quiz for school children both last year and this year. The Heritage educational activities was also held in Victoria Memorial conducting Walks for school students in Dalhousie. Recently, it organized an awareness Walk in the Park Street area for Ladies Study Group. These two years for Calcutta Heritage Collective has been tremendously constructive due to its involvement in various activities towards spreading Heritage Awareness. Apart from these, CHC has also identified three successful restoration projects, ‘The Bhaneswar Shiv Temple’ at Kumartuli, ‘The Prince of Wales Welcome Arch’ and ‘McDonell Fountain’ at Fairlie Place. The Members Annual Meet at this very venue will showcase the beauty of Respect, Restore and Reuse which are CHC core values and its mission. The purpose of the three R’s, Restoration, is not only about conserving the old buildings, but is also about highlighting our inheritance that needs to be cocooned safely. And Re- using the properties, by not tearing down the heritage but merging it with the urban development so we can take a pride in the near future and also to keep taking it forward. Also unlike regular restoration projects which are reused as Museums or Hotels, the Emami Group will Reuse this beautifully restored structure as a Temple and Clinics of Ayurvedic and Homeopathy as well as an institution to impart vocational training. Since the venue of the event is on the same place, the mission of RE-VIVAL, is to thus preserve the built heritage of the city which needs to be reflected in the completion of this restoration. URL : www.calcuttaheritagecollective.com The Emami Foundation :- Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Sushil Goenka, Managing Director of Emami Limited, said, “We congratulate CHC for their work on spreading heritage awareness. 48B Muktarambabu property holds a special place in our hearts as our Founders, Shri RS Agarwal and Shri R S Goenka began their entrepreneurial journey from a rented 200sq.ft space in this building where brand Emami was born. We have endeavored to rebuild and restore the building to it’s former glory as much as possible as a homage to the city’s architectural heritage as well as to treasure the sentiments of our Founders We have dedicated this rebuilt premises to our Group’s CSR initiatives.”