Heritage Cleaning Events - Cholistan

Heritage Cleaning Events - Cholistan

Historic Fort at Darawar in the Cholistan Desert.

Karavan Heritage Safeguarding Event, Darawar Fort, Sunday, October 3 2004

In the quest of its aim to spread awareness about the many wonderful heritage sites in Pakistan and the importance of taking care of them in order to preserve them for future generations, KaravanPakistan has steadily been holding events at various historical monuments throughout the country.

Its journey began from the streets of Karachi and after trekking through Lahore where it celebrated the world heritage site of Shahi Qila, the next stop for KaravanPakistan in its Heritage Cleaning Initiative was the cleaning of the Darawar fort in the Cholistan Desert which was part of the 3 day KaravanPakistan Rohi-Cholistan Heritage Fest. This Heritage Cleaning Initiative, as are all KaravanPakistan Heritage Cleaningh Initiatives, was made possible through public participation.

The ruinous state of this magnificent structure was distressing to say the least. Students from five schools accompanied the Karavan team to clean up one of the most beautifully decorated rooms in the fort. Most of the schools participating in the Heritage Fest showed great enthusiasm in taking a trip to Darawar Fort to clean its walls and floors; and it wasn’t just students but 100 people including Mr. Jorge Sequeira Director UNESCO who volunteered to clean this historic structure.

The cleaning was undertaken under the guidance of cleaning experts to ensure that no harm or damage accrued to the historic structure or to themselves For this event cotton gloves and masks were distributed among the participants for their own safety while soft bristle brushes were chosen for the dry cleaning of the Fort. Even this simple equipment used to clean the walls and remove dust from the floor of the fort with the help of plastic pans made an incredible difference to the fort’s appearance.

The Cholistan Forts are remarkable for their picturesqueness with their bastions and fortifications built with mud and brick. They have guarded the desert for centuries past but are today in a sad state of neglect and disrepair. Many of the Forts have been lost without a trace.

This Heritage Cleaning Initiative was organized to draw attention to the plight of these historic forts and to foster the ‘duty of care’ among the general public. In view of the impending destruction, it is essential to preserve all those historic structures that have lent character, charm and romance to the silent desert. The focus on the safeguarding effort is expected to also help revitalize the life and crafts of the Cholistan people.

School children (on back seats) waiting for briefing by archaeologists of Department of Archaeology, Punajb (in front).

More school children in anticipation of the briefing.
School children engaged in heritage cleaning.