Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is not only helping the nation meet its infrastructure requirements, it is now also going to lend a hand in preserving the country’s cultural heritage. SAIL has decided to spend close to Rs. 1.5 crore as part of its corporate social responsibility initiative, on conserving, preserving, restoring, maintaining and landscaping five ancient monuments at Lodi Gardens in the Capital. A memorandum of agreement to this effect was signed here today between SAIL, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and National Culture Fund (NCF). The signatories were Mr C. Babu Rajeev, Director General (ASI), Mr Vimlendra Sharan, Member Secretary (NCF) and Mr Raman Kumar, Executive Director (Personnel & Administration) SAIL.
The project to conserve Sikandar Lodi’s tomb, Sheesh Gumbad, Bada Gumbad (mosque), Mohammad Shah’s tomb and Athpula (old Lodi bridge) and their environs in the sprawling Lodi Gardens is part of ASI’s efforts to restore, upgrade and maintain national monuments under the Ancient Monuments Archaeological Sites & Remains Act, 1958. In consultation with NCF, which is a public charitable trust established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s Department of Culture as a mechanism to create sources and mobilise funds to preserve and promote Indian art, culture and heritage, ASI had approached SAIL for financial assistance for this project recently.
The Lodi Gardens in the heart of New Delhi was originally a village surrounding monuments surviving from the Sayyid and Lodi dynasties (15-16th century). The British relocated the villagers in 1936 in order to create the lush green gardens around the architectural structures. The eight-piered Athpula bridge is believed to have been built during the reign of Emperor Akbar of the Mughal dynasty.
Apart from promoting art and culture, SAIL has been taking several other initiatives to make meaningful difference to the lives of a large section of the people in society. Some of the key programmes run by the company as a part of its corporate social responsibilities on a sustained basis, pertain to providing primary medical, health and educational facilities to the people living in and around the SAIL townships. Besides, SAIL has tied up with NACO to reduce the impact of HIV infection and spread education about the disease.