Kutch, June 2, 2020: The 26th session of the Dekho Apna Desh webinar series of Ministry of Tourism on 30.05.2020 titled “The Tenacity of Survival”-Inspirational story of Kutch showcased the history, culture, crafts, textile heritage of India’s largest district Kutch, Gujarat and the resilient spirit of the people of Kutch to fight natural calamities, the skills that form the report card of the continuous dynamics defining Indian civilization. The webinar displayed the message of Kutch that “Kutch nahi Dekha toh Kuch Nahi Dekha”. Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat
This session of webinar moderated by Ms. Rupinder Brar Additional Director-General, Ministry of Tourism and was presented by Dr. Navina Jafa, Director, Indian Cultural Heritage Research.
Ms. Jafa through her powerful narration skills presented the contrasting geographical features, and a genetic cocktail that defines India in the most dramatic manner.
and mangroves. Interestingly, the mangroves here are known for an amazing phenomenon of being the world’s only Inland Mangrove. The Rann of Kutch alone produces three-fourths of the total salt supply of India. The place is also the home to the Kharai breed of a camel which has the special ability to survive on both drylands as well as in the saline water. They can even swim in seawater and feed on saline water and plants. They are well-adapted to the extreme climate of the desert and the high salinity of the water.
The key highlights of the presentation were virtual visits to the community of Ajrakh traditional block printers. Ajrakh is one of the oldest types of block printing on textiles still practiced in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan in India. Textiles printed in this style are hand-printed using natural dyes on both sides by a laborious and long process of resist printing (a method of printing in which designated areas in the pattern are treated to resist penetration by the dye).The seminar then took the participants to visit Bannithe Salt Desert in Kutch where the work of three major indigenous communities engaged in pottery, embroidery and leather work was showcased. Ms. Jafaalso spoke about the monastery of the ear torn ascetics (the siddhi sidhhant sect) and the langar (Community kitchen) run by the Monastery.The presentation also covered the coastal town of Mandavi, where regional Sufi beliefs guide traditional boat builders on the Arabian Sea.The other salient attractions of Kutch showcased in the webinar included:
• Dholavira- UNESCO World Heritage Site and second-largest Harappan site located in India. It is indeed a marvelous example of town-planning and architecture.• Fossil Park• Rann of Kutch-Salt Desert of Arabian Sea• Kala Dungar• Guru Gorkanath Temple • Narayan Sarovar Temple
Lakhport Fort & Port• Surhando- Unique the peacock-shaped instrument plays a melodious music• Thaali Dance- A balancing dance performed to commensurate the celebrations of marriage and childbirth • Tooofaan- Famous wild dance of the ocean also known as “Samundar ki Masti”• Waai Sufi Mystics.
By Anupreet Singh: