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News & Events

ITRHD's 9th Annual Crafts Festival Azamgarh & Barmer 2022

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Annual General Meeting 2019

Annual General Meeting 2019 will be held on 27th July, 2019 at WWF auditorium 172 B, Lodhi Estate, Lodhi Road, New Delhi -110003

Mr. S.K. Misra Interview

A retired civil servant's tireless quest to preserve rural heritage (IANS Special Series) IANS | New Delhi May 26, 2019 Last Updated at 09:48 IST Even after giving almost 40 years of his life to government service, retired civil servant S.K. Misra felt his work was still not complete. The former bureaucrat felt that the experience he had gained and the reputation he had built could be better used for public service. Thus began his second innings. After he retired as the Principal Secretary to former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar in the early 1990s, Misra continued his work in the fields of conservation and restoration of heritage, rural development, women empowerment and community engagement. Standing strong at 87, the Padma Bhushan recipient heads the Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development (ITRHD), a non-governmental organisation set up in 2011 that works in villages with strong, often endangered, heritage traditions with projects spread across eight states. "I could never think of total retirement or sitting idle. I felt that the experience that I had gained, I should put that experience to social purpose. I am 87-years-old now and I still can't think of just relaxing," Misra, who also served as tourism, civil aviation and agriculture secretary in the union government and was also principal secretary to three Haryana chief ministers, told IANS in an interview. He added that other officers who gain experience should not just hang up their boots after retirement, but should continue to work "as there are so many areas where work needs to be done and where their experience could be utilised". After retirement, Misra served as the chairman of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the biggest NGO in the country concerned with restoration of heritage, for almost 10 years. But, the need for an organisation focusing solely on rural heritage, birthed ITRHD. "INTACH was primarily urban oriented and was concerned only with conservation. The new NGO, formed in collaboration with a number of distinguished persons from different walks of life, was concerned with conservation of rural heritage and also rural development along with community involvement," he said. Founded with the aim of helping create sustainable viability for heritage while also focusing on its potential as a resource for overall development, his NGO concentrates on infrastructure development, primary education, skill development, employment generation, and development of rural tourism. "In all our projects, the goal is not only to preserve important heritage assets for their own meaning and value, but to help the impoverished rural communities that own them to learn how to successfully manage previously unrecognized heritage resources, in the process achieving self-sufficiency, improved living conditions, and a new sense of pride as owners of these special and most precious parts of our culture," Misra said. While in Jharkhand, ITRHD is working on restoration of 17th century terracotta temples and restoration of a historic jail, in Haryana's Mewat district, it has undertaken a project to restore an extraordinary 700-year-old monument, the Dargah of Sheikh Musa -- a medieval Sufi saint. "In the Maluti village in Jharkhand, there is a unique heritage site with 62 terra-cotta temples. There were 108 temples and now only 62 remain - all in one village," While Misra took the initiative to conserve and protect these unique monuments in 2011, the Jharkhand government in 2015 agreed to fund the entire project with a budget of Rs 7 crore. "The work is going on and we hope to complete it by end of this year," the former bureaucrat said. "In addition, the state government has also entrusted a project of conserving a historical jail in Ranchi which housed freedom fighters of the tribe called Munda. After restoration, it is to be converted into a tribal museum," he added. Started late last year, the project is expected

World Heritage Day

WORLD HERITAGE DAY - 2019 WORLD HERITAGE DAY was celebrated jointly by Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development, Jharkhand and PRERNA, a leading NGO of Jharkahnd on 18th April 2019 at the Historic Birsa Munda Jail premises. The main motive, to mark the day, was to inculcate among the children the value of our heritage and take them around the ongoing heritage conservation work at the Birsa Munda Jail, Ranchi. Students from 7 schools of Ranchi namely 1. Delhi Public School, SAIL Setelite townshiop, 2. Gurunanak Higher Secendary School, P.P. Compound, 3. Marwari +2 High School, 4. Cambrian Public School, Kanke Road, 5. Little Wings School, Booty more, 6. St.Xavier’s School, Purulia Road 7. St. Thomas School, Dhurwa. had taken part in the event. The students were informed about the history of Birsa Munda Jail by Shri S. D. Singh, Heritage Ambassador for Rural Tradition. Shri Bishnu Budhia, Former President FJCCI was the Chief Guest. He had addressed the students and teachers present on occasion and emphasised the need to educate the children towards the love for its heritage. He had complemented PRERNA and ITRHD for the great initiative. The Children were taken around the ongoing conservation work by Ar. Vaidehi Raipat, the Youth Co-ordinator of ITRHD, Jharkhand. She had shown the various sections of the Jail. The Solitary Cell popularly known as ‘ANDA CELL’ was of special interest for the children where hardened criminals used to be kept. They were taken to the cell in which legendry Birsa Munda was imprisioned, the children were enthralled to see the cell and took photographs and selfie of the place. After the visit of the jail premises several competitions like Painting / Drawing, Poster making, On the spot Photography and quiz contest was held. All the participants were given the certificates and winners were awarded. The following person had given their valuable contribution to organise the event: Vivek Gutpa, Chandan Kumar, Ajay Kumar Mukherjee, Akhil Kumar, Punam Kumari, Aftab Alam, Mehtab Alam, Rohit Singh & Rajnish Singh

Rural Tourism Day

January 30 is a day of special significance to all of us and this year in 2019 we celebrate Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary. Our Trust, ITRHD (Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development) will be observing January 30 as Rural Tourism Day - for it is our firm conviction that Rural Tourism can be an effective means of achieving the end that Gandhiji had in mind for the upliftment of the rural people - infrastructure Development, employment generating programmes with focus on skill development, self reliance, development of leadership qualities, involvement of panchayats, cleanliness drive and hygiene all of which if pushed through with vigour can make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of people. Smt. Sheila Dikshit will be speaking on the occasion as Chief Guest followed by Laila Tyabji, whose focus will be on crafts development, Jose Dominic from Kerala on eco and heritage tourism and to wind up Natwar Singh who will be chairing the session. We propose to start sharp at 5.30 pm after samosa and chai at 5pm. Venue: Alliance Francaise Delhi Auditorium, 72 Lodhi Estate, New Delhi.

Weavers of Mubarakpur

Exhibition and sale by ITRHD, famous traditional silk weavers of Mubarakpur UP. Alliance Francaise, 72 Lodhi Rd, 7-12 December, 2018 ITRHD is working with the Mubarakpur weavers for the last 6 years as part of the Azamgarh "Creative Cluster" initiative, which includes the nearby potter’s village of Nizamabad and the musician’s village of Hariharpur. In all the three villages, the focus is on ensuring the survival of the traditional heritage assets and devising creative interventions that link the preservation of heritage to economic development and improvement in the quality of life. Mubarakpur, District Azamgarh, (U.P) has a long standing tradition and has been famous for silk weaving for at least 4 centuries. The village is still home to several thousand talented and skilled traditional weavers, who struggle to keep this precious heritage alive in the face of increasing competition from power looms and exploitative traders. Apart from providing marketing support, ITRHD has been working on design development with these weavers of Mubarakpur for 2 years now. As a result of the design intervention, this year at the festival - the viewers will get to experience and buy fine quality fabrics, dupattas and sarees in silk, tussar, chanderi and satin in a range of colours, motifs and designs, that have been exclusively produced for this Festival.

Azamgarh Festival 2018

Terracotta Black Pottery Exhibition from Village Nizambad- The Azamgarh Festival 2018 at Alliance Francaise 72 Lodhi Estate New Delhi. From 20th-23rd Oct., 2018 11 am to 8 pm

Annual General Meeting 2018

Annual General Meeting 2018 will be held on 21st July, 2018 at WWF auditorium 172 B, Lodhi Estate, Lodhi Road, New Delhi -110003

Patiala Heritage Festival

At Quila Mubrak Patiala Heritage Festival

Azamgarh Festival at Alliance Francaise Nov. & Dec. 2017

This year, for the first time, the 3 elements of the festival viz. Music, Pottery, & Weavers were held on separate days but at the same venue i.e. Alliance Francaise, New Delhi. This change helped to bring into sharp focus each individual event and the change of venue also brought in more visitors as it was centrally located. Also, for the first time we were able to arrange for publicity through two major newspapers viz. Hindustan Times and Times of India, which was a positive step and helped to boost the sales of the Potters and Weavers. As regards the music festival, the induction of Rajan & Sanjan Mishra on the opening day was a big attraction. The weavers had a field day as their sale (through credit cards) was over Rs.43 lacs as against Rs. 6-7 Lacs last year. The introduction of designers interacting with the weavers also produced good results. It was also clarified that the income from sales to the Potters & Weavers went exclusively to the crafts-persons and ITRHD did not get any part of it. The entire expenditure on all these events (which included transportation from Azamgarh, board and lodging, and publicity) was taken care of by ITRHD.

Words of encouragement from Mr Alkazi


INTO Conference

Mr S K Misra, Chairman, ITRHD addressed the INTO Conference at its plenary session on 15th October 2011. The theme of INTO Conference, organized in partnership with The Land Conservancy of British Columbia and Heritage Canada Foundation, was "Connecting People, Places and Stories: New Strategies for Conservation in a Changing World." Read More...

The Victoria Declaration adopted at the INTO Conference in Canada for hosting. 
Chairman S.K. Misra meeting with Prince Charles in June 2011, at which time he advised him of the establishment of the ITRHD.

Seminar on Strategies for Rural Development and Heritage Conservation

The Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development held a Seminar on the theme of ‘Strategies for Rural Development and Heritage Conservation’ on the 3rd and 4th of March, 2012 at the India International Centre, New Delhi . The various topics which were covered in the Seminar are as under:

  • Rural Education and Health / Hygiene;
  • Civil Infrastructure: Water / Waste Management / Alternate Sources of Energy;
  • Agriculture and Climate Change;
  • Income Generation and Creative Cultural Industries;
  • Rural Heritage and Tourism;
  • Documentation (Tangible and Intangible);
  • Programmes ( special reference to North East);
  • Heritage Conservation.

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Global Heritage Fund (GHF) - Tour Report

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Rural Heritage and Economic Development - Mr.S.K.Misra

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Exhibition cum Seminar: Indian Handlooms Search for a New Identity

ITRHD is holding an Exhibition cum Seminar at India International Centre Annexe from 12th to 14th March. Theme of the Seminar is "Indian Handlooms Search for a New Identity." The Seminar is on 12th and 13th March, The exhibition will be on display from 12th to 14th March, which will be of different weaving techniques from all over India.

Launch of 5th issue of "Explore Rural India"

ITRHD proudly announces launch of the 5th issue of its semi-annual magazine on 6th February, 2015 at World Wildlife Fund, 172, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi. Maharaja GajSinghji of Jodhpur has very kindly consented to do the honors. A soft copy of the magazine will be available on our website after the launch.

Azamgarh Festival

Azamgarh Festival 2016 to be held at Hotel Ashok between 14th to 20th, Oct. 2016


The forthcoming festivals dates, as indicated below, were noted by the Trustees:

For Phase-II (Date, time and Venue revised dates)
Weavers Exhibition:
From 13 th Dec’17 to 18 th Dec’17 (6 days)
Venue: At Hall, SGF level, Alliance Francaise De Delhi.
Time: 11.00am to 8.00pm.

For Phase-I (Date, time and Venue remain unchanged)
Potter Festival:
From 11 th Nov’17 to 15 th Nov’17 (5 days)
Venue: At Hall, SGF level, Alliance Francaise De Delhi.
Time: 11.00am to 8.00pm.
Classical Music:
From 11 th Nov’17 to 12 th Nov’17
Venue: At Auditorium Hall, Alliance Francaise De Delhi.
Time: 6.00am to 9.00pm.

Azamgarh Festival 2017:

The forthcoming festivals dates, as indicated below, were noted by the Trustees:

The Hariharpur Gharana of Banaras Gayeki 20th - 21st January 2024

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ITRHD's 10th Annual Crafts Festival Azamgarh & Barmer 2024

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Rural Day Presentation by Mr. Steve Borgia - 29th January 2023

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Inauguration Ceremony - Pateriya Ka Bagh, Royal Gardens of Rajnagar

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Preserving Precious Skills – Passing On The Traditions

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Discovering New Musical Talent – Guess Where?

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Saving The Blackbuck While Planting Trees

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Rural Tourism Day Presentation by Mr. Geert Robberechts - 30th January 2022

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Barmer Crafts Exhibition, Mehrangarh Fort Jodhpur

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Rangoli Competition, Celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav In Collaboration With Ministry Of Culture - 14 January 2022

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Heritage Walk, 26 November 2021

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Tree Plantation Drive - Jharkhand 2021

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Tree Plantation Drive - Barmer, Rajasthan 2021

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Youth Folk Music Workshop - 2021

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Tree Plantation Drive Azamgarh 2021

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Sustainable Development of Rural Heritage, Amity University 8th July 2021

Speech by Mr. S.K.Misra (Click Here)

ITRHD 10th Anniversary Online Event on 23rd June 2021

- Vikram Lall's Citation - Reading by Mr. AGK Menon (Click Here)
- Remarks by Ms. Maureen Liebl (Click Here)

International Conference On Agri Tourism Day 15-16 May 2021

Speech by Chairman Mr. S.K.Misra (Click Here)

World Heritage Day - 18 Apr 2021

Speech By Mr. Agk Menon (Click Here)
Speech By Ms. Swapna Liddle (Click Here)

Excerpts on ITRHD from Shri K Natwar Singh's piece

Excerpts on ITRHD from Shri K Natwar Singh's piece in the Sunday Guardian dated 29 November 2020 in his weekly column:

"The Indian Trust of Rural Heritage and Development deserves to be better known. It was founded by the indefatigable SK Mishra nine years ago. The Trust does splendid work, mostly in remote parts of the country repairing dilapidated buildings and forgotten historical monuments. Also, revival of rural culture and village Handicrafts and to exhibit them.

In the words of Chairman SK Mishra ‘one of the objectives of the Trust is to promote and preserve living heritage and we have projects underway with both music and craft traditions. One of our earliest and still most important projects involves a ‘Creative Cluster’ of three extraordinary villages in UP’s Azamgarh district, Hariharpur is a village of classical musicians, Nizamabad has an unusual tradition of black pottery and Mubarakpur has a several hundred years old heritage of fine silk handloom weaving.

The Trust discovered them and helped revive their original glory. Much more exemplary creative work is being done in various parts of the country.

The Trust brings out excellent publications, the latest is on "Traditional Healing Systems of India".