Sahapedia’s India Heritage Walk Festival wins prestigious PATA Gold Award 2018

The month-long, multi-city ‘India Heritage Walk Festival’ (IHWF 2018) was organised in February this year and was hugely successful among walk leaders, history enthusiasts and tourists.

author_img N.J. Pinto Published :  20th July 2018 05:14 PM   |   Published :   |  20th July 2018 05:14 PM
Jodhpur Heritage Walk photo

Blue City Jodhpur Heritage Walk

India Heritage Walk Festival, a joint collaboration of Sahapedia and YES Arts & Culture (a division of YES Global Institute-YES BANK), has been awarded the prestigious PATA Gold Award 2018 for its recently concluded pan-India event, giving a major boost to the digital archive’s endeavours of making India’s heritage more popular and accessible.

The award, announced by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in Bangkok on Wednesday, has been presented to Sahapedia under the ‘Heritage-Culture’ category. Sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), the PATA Awards this year recognised achievements of 27 organisations and individuals in the field of travel and tourism.

The PATA Awards 2018, which received 200 submissions from 87 organisations and individuals worldwide, will be presented to the winners on September 14 during the PATA Travel Mart in Malaysia.
Sahapedia had organised IHWF 2018 in collaboration with YES Arts & Culture, the cultural division of YES Global Institute, a practising think tank of YES BANK, to encourage citizens to explore the tangible and intangible heritage of their cities and towns. In addition to the 38 partners spread across India, the first edition was also supported by Incredible India, a Government of India initiative.

The month-long, multi-city ‘India Heritage Walk Festival’ (IHWF 2018) was organised in February this year. Hugely successful among walk leaders, history enthusiasts and tourists, the event covered 20 cities and towns across India, featuring historical monuments and shrines, well-known landscapes, and places known for art, culture, cuisine and trade.

Some highlights of the festival included heritage walks with differently abled people in Jaipur and Mumbai, and reaching out to people in India’s tier-II and tier-III cities such as Patna, Itanagar, Varanasi, Udaipur and Jodhpur. An online film festival of documentaries based on cultural themes, talks (Baithaks) and Instameets were also organised as part of the festival’s more than 70 events.        

Speaking about the award, Dr. Sudha Gopalakrishnan, Sahapedia’s Executive Director, said, “We would like to thank PATA for acknowledging our work in bringing India’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage to the larger public. It reinforces the belief that exploration and respect of one’s national heritage should be a top priority. The award couldn’t have been more timely for us as we are preparing for the second edition of the India Heritage Walk Festival next year.”

Rana Kapoor, Managing Director & CEO, YES BANK and Chairman, YES Global Institute, said: “It is encouraging to note that the understanding of heritage in India is gradually evolving from mere protection of historic monuments to that of preservation and showcase of various art forms.”“Initiatives such as IHWF 2018 have been immensely successful in showcasing the untapped potential of India’s culture, promoting responsible tourism and providing a unique opportunity for thousands of people to experience our rich history and heritage,” Kapoor added.

Dr. Subi Chaturvedi, President, YES Global Institute, YES BANK, said: “The PATA Gold Award is a big win for India as it recognizes the potential of India’s rich heritage. The India Heritage Walk Festival was a concrete step towards protecting, revitalizing and promoting rich tangible and intangible cultural assets. IHWF 2018 created opportunities for young people to engage with their cities and understand the opportunities for developing India’s creative and cultural industries. YES Global Institute is proud of this partnership and will continue to work towards putting India on the global map.”     

Buoyed by the success of its inaugural IHWF, Sahapedia will launch the second edition of the event next year on a bigger scale by forging collaborations with regional partners and expanding its footprint across new locations.

“The IHWF 2018 generated a pan-India momentum, bringing heritage spaces alive for larger audiences. We aim to continue the momentum for exploring new partnerships and avenues in the future editions. The objective is to create authentic, credible, and exhaustive content on our rich heritage and culture, and develop a stronger network of cultural practitioners across the country with every edition. The PATA Award is a testament to our efforts and will help us to launch the next edition with greater vigour,” said Vaibhav Chauhan, Secretary, Sahapedia.

Dr. Mario Hardy, PATA CEO, said, “This year’s winners exemplify the true values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region”.

Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, said, “This year’s PATA Gold Awards winners present us with yet another wide array of remarkable accomplishments in the different branches of the tourism industry. [The] PATA awards programme…for the past over two decades has been bringing into the limelight so many exceptional contributions, inspiring tourism stakeholders throughout the Asia Pacific region to build a vibrant whilst sustainable tourism industry.”