A 20 year old Rupali Rakheja, student of College of Vocational Studies (CVS), has recently started a campaign to create awareness about the illegal construction of a building using the wall of Zafar Mahal. The campaign’s name is ‘I Stand for Zafar Mahal’ and is being actively promoted on both, online and offline portals.
Zafar Mahal, which is located in South Delhi, is considered to be the last monumental structure built as a summer palace during the fading years of the Mughal Era. The building has two components namely, the Mahal or the palace and the entrance gate that was reconstructed in the 19th century by Bahadur Shah Zafar II.
Rupali says, “Zafar Mahal is a significant monument. Not many palaces of the Mughal Era survive in the city. The palace is beautiful and must be saved.” The steps to stop the encroachment were taken as early as in March, but the campaign was kick-started in May and has gathered a lot of support. Authorities weren’t very helpful and nobody wanted to get into the matter. Thus, Rupali and her team of supporters are trying to make the campaign viral on the social media as to create pressure on the authorities and bring such a grave issue in the limelight.
“We’ve written to everyone from the Prime Minister to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Media and all others who we think can help” said Rupali. On being asked about the importance of heritage of India and whether she thinks this initiative will set an example for it she said, “I believe it is very important for all of us to recognise the importance of our heritage. Grown-ups may forget it sometimes but the youth should be vigilant. We need to make everyone understand that these monuments are our getaways to the past. And as someone very rightly said, if you don’t know where you came from, you don’t know who you are.”
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