1. Description of Our Community
Kolkata was the capital of the British Raj, which extended over almost all of present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, except for small holdings by other European nations such as Goa and Pondicherry, from 1772 to 1911. Many of the structures built in the colonial era still stand, interspersed with older buildings. The city has been the seat of power in the state since its inception. Kolkata has two unique typologies of architecture: firstly the colonial architecture established by the British, and secondly, an indigenous style developed by the native Bengali people mixing European, Persian and Indian styles of architecture developed during late eighteenth to early twentieth century which constitute architectural heritage in Kolkata.
2. Summary of Our Project
A visitor to Kolkata typically reacts to it in one of these two ways- indifference or intrigue. The ones indifferent probably have only noticed the traffic on the roads, the malls, high-rises, slums that are the pockets of poverty and other aspects that make this place no different from any other Indian city. But if you delve deeper, bereft of pre-conceived judgments your experience is sure to be one that will leave a deep impact on you, for Kolkata is a city to be felt, heard and smelled, as much as it is to be seen. There are delights and surprises for you at every stage of your journey. The colonial relic is still intact in the form of architecture of buildings in these areas, names of the streets and of course, the occasional tram and the tramline that you will see in no other city in India. The heritage buildings is a must for the sheer visual pleasure if not to satiate the historian within you. Hence we the students of Lakshmipat Singhania took it as a challenge to select few heritage sites to sensitize the community at large about the significance and how it can be preserved for the next gen through various fun filled activities like Heritage Walks, online quizzes, Sit and Draw Competitions, The tram ride, through interviews, online photography competitions etc.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Time constraint: Our group members faced difficulties in finishing the project. It is because we got to know about the project very late. Unit tests, Block Tests and school programmes were scheduled and the teachers along with the students were also quite busy. So, we had to arrange our procedures reasonable to complete the project before the due date. This also affected the participation of the students giving the public examination this year, as their practical examinations coincided with the activity dates. Technical difficulties: The school labs were often occupied for practical classes and practical examination. Limited number of computers at school could be provided to complete the project. That delayed our project. Geographical constraint - The route for the Tram Ride had to be altered due to the East West Metro Railway construction. A number of heritage sites could not be covered in the route which was initially planned.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Since 1990s with globalisation and urbanisation, old existing and historic buildings are being demolished for construction of large buildings thus erasing traditional cultural patina, demanding resources and degrading environment. Our project “Unite to Preserve” has successfully demonstrated the architectural heritage with the problems, proposals regarding their safeguard and management through various events and activities.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Various activities were conducted, not only sensitize the students about the built heritage of Kolkata but also the present condition of depletion, it also reached out to other members of the communities through various online and offline activities like photography competition for the adult groups, interview sessions with the management of Victoria Memorial Hall, art competition for various groups of students.