To create a platform, which helps people know more about our tangible and intangible cultural heritage, is a mammoth task. But National Skill Development Agency, in association with IGNCA have come up with a website that eases the whole endeavour of finding academic information on different matters.
Sahapedia.org, which is the interactive platform on Indian and broadly South-Asian cultures, took off after five years of intense research. It was carried out on a co-operative basis, offering windows to store encyclopedic content, images and videos on subjects which come under so many topics.
Reliable and detailed information on matters ranging from visual arts, music, literature, cinema, dance, architecture, ecological systems, cuisine, percussion and oral histories among others will be integral to the website.
“For now, much of the content is in English. Efforts are already on to incorporate Indian languages in a major move,” the former TCS chairman said at the function on Saturday evening. “Heritage education will be the focus, so as to kindle interest among the new generation about a range of sources of knowledge, starting from ancient to the modern,” he added. The platform, with scholar-curated modules on variety of topics, offers a rich multi-media experience also propped by the library which has various old and new articles, journals, books, images from various institutions and authors. It has the option to filter by format, offers interactive timelines that allow users to scroll through developments—as the gathering was shown through a tour of the innovative portal. It not only serves information, but also promotes publication of reliable contributions from users—after review by a panel of subject experts. Also, it is not a place restricted to recording history; instead dynamically supplies information on current and emerging practices by also carrying out critical debate.
Artist-author-researcher Dr Sudha Gopalakrishnan, executive Director of ‘Sahapedia’ said that the online platform had vast scope for cross-referencing content across domains. “All these would be constantly linked to the ‘Sahapedia’ library, helping to bring out new links across disciplines,” the former head of National Mission for Manuscripts pointed out in her welcome address.
A panel discussion on ‘Culture Futures’ on Saturday, featured accounts of field experiences by folk traditions scholar Utpala Desai, digital empowerment activist Osama Manzar, architect-musician Meera Natampally, shadow puppeteer Ramachandra Pulavar and actor-director-publisher Sudhanva Deshpande. The function had began with a 30-minute recital by classical vocalist Dr Subhadra Desai.