Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Delhi, India

The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is a non-profit charitable organisation registered under the Societies’ Registration Act, 1860.

The Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is a non-profit organization set up in 1984 to involve its members in protecting and conserving India’s vast natural, built and cultural heritage.

INTACH has 150 chapters across the country.The Delhi chapter, started in 1984, has been involved a variety of programmes and activities that have helped promote the cause of INTACH and heritage conservation.

In 2007, the United Nations awarded INTACH a special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Today it has chapters in 170 Indian cities, as well as chapters in Belgium, and the United Kingdom.

The Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations of INTACH constituted the first Governing Council of the Trust with the following member: Rajiv Gandhi, Pupul Jayakar, L. K. Jha, Prof. M. G. K. Menon, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Rajeev Sethi, B. K. Thapar, Martand Singh, Bilkees Latif, Madhavrao Scindia, and J. B. Dadachanji.

In 2007, INTACH signed a memorandum of understanding with AusHeritage, Australia’s noted heritage network, to collaborate on South Asian and South East Asian regional initiatives.

Among the tasks undertaken by INTACH are restoration of monuments and their management; advocacy for heritage property conservation; public awareness through heritage walks and buses; establishment of heritage clubs in schools; and holding of awareness workshop for teachers of schools and colleges and heritage walks to various unprotected sites.

Over the years, INTACH has taken up restoration and protection of hundreds of monuments that fall outside the coverage of Archaeological Survey of India and other government agencies, and at times local authorities hand over the upkeep and restoration of heritage structures to INTACH directly.

INTACH has established chapters not only within India but also outside it. It now uses funds raised by its international chapters in Belgium and the United Kingdom, to take up restoration, conservation and protection projects of historical structures and heritage buildings across India.

After developing Raghurajpur, Orissa, a place famous for its master ‘Pattachitra’ artists and ‘Gotipua’ dance troupes as a heritage village, which has now become a major rural tourist destination, it later used the same pattern to develop Padmanabhpur village, Ganjam district, Orissa, famous for its weavers and folk dancers, into another heritage destination.

In 2007, the government of Goa signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with INTACH for restoration, conservation and maintenance of 51 officially listed heritage and cultural monuments in the state. This includes the restoration and conservation of the 16th century Reis Magos Fort in Goa, then in 2008, INTACH signed anouth a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Delhi for the conservation of 92 monuments in Delhi, in the preparation of the Commonwealth Games 2010.

INTACH’s mission to conserve heritage is based on the belief that living in harmony with heritage enhances the quality of life, and it is the duty of every citizen of India as laid down in the Constitution of India. The objectives spelt out in the Memorandum of Association constitute INTACH’s Mandate and Vision. Its stated mission to date continues to be:

Sensitise the public about the pluralistic cultural legacy of India
Instill a sense of social responsibility towards preserving India’s common heritage
Protect and preserve India’s living, built, and natural heritage by undertaking necessary actions and measures
Document unprotected buildings of archaeological, architectural, historic and aesthetic significance, as well as the cultural resources, as this is the first step towards formulating conservation plans
Develop heritage policies and regulations, and make legal interventions to protect India’s heritage when necessary
Provide expertise in the field of conservation, restoration and preservation of specific works of art; and encourage capacity-building by developing skills through training programmes
Undertake emergency response measures during natural or man-made disasters and support the local administration whenever heritage is threatened
Foster collaborations, Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and partnerships with government and other national and international agencies
Generate sponsorships for conservation and educational projects
To achieve the above-stated mission, at subsequent Visioning Exercises further measures were spelt out:

INTACH must widen and strengthen its base so as to involve people in caring for our common heritage, as outlined in the objectives of the Memorandum of Association of the Society
INTACH should develop into a highly competent and efficient organization of first recourse in all matters concerning Built (Architectural), Natural, Art (Material), Intangible (Living) Heritage in the country by building the requisite professional and other skills, both at its Central Office and at the Chapter level
INTACH should strive to become the primary advisor on all matters pertaining to protection, conservation and preservation of heritage for the central government, the state governments (including institutions, agencies and organizations under them, such as the Armed Forces), and for institutions of decentralised governance such as the Panchayati Raj Institutions in the rural areas, for the urban local bodies (municipalities, metropolitan authorities, cantonment boards, etc.), and also the Corporate and Public Sectors
INTACH should put into place an effective system of networking with other like-minded organizations and build a mutual support system

The INTACH UK Trust, established in 1987, is a registered charity in the United Kingdom funded by the Charles Wallace bequest. The aim of this trust is to support the cause of heritage conservation in India.

In the recent years INTACH has been fortunate to receive support from the central government and several state governments, corporate houses and international agencies.