In Old Delhi, a unique attempt to promote Urdu, calligraphers

Parvez Sultan, New Delhi: In an attempt to promote the ‘language’ of the Walled city, the Shahjahanabad

Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) will hold discussions, workshops, and cultural events with the help of art and culture conservation experts. Special focus will be laid on Urdu and calligraphers, who are residents of old Delhi.
During each session of an hour-long talk, participants will be given basic knowledge of Urdu, correct pronunciation, and history of the dying spoken language of Shahjahanabad.
Autobiographies of prominent residents of old Delhi like Ustad Chand Khan, Hakim Ajmal Khan, and Mirza Ghalib, and history of the region will be told through dastangoi and exhibitions.
“This is to create awareness about heritage, revival of the language and calligraphy to outreach citizens for appreciation of Shahjahanabad,” said a senior officer of SRDC.The corporation plans to organise orientation workshops for artisans especially for calligraphers. The aim is to enable them to explore and adopt new mediums of art through which they can make sustainable livelihood.
“Promotion of traditional livelihood being one of the objectives along with the conservation of cultural heritage, the SRDC took the initiative to support Centre for New Perspectives’ (CNP’s), led by Dr Navina Jafa, a known cultural activist and academician,” said Faiz Hashmi, managing director (MD) of SRDC.
Initially, one centre will be set up as a pilot project based on a report prepared by the CNP.
To prepare a draft for the plan, a workshop — sustainable development through traditional skills and conserving the linguistic heritage of Shahjahanaba — was organised by the SRDC and CNP on Monday.
The event was attended by Nitin Panigrahi, deputy general manager (project and administation) of SRDC, Jafa, former senior bureaucrats of Centre government, Sohail Hashmi, a history enthusiast, and a group of calligraphers from the Walled city.