Development Cooperation Handbook/The video resources linked to this handbook/The Documentary Story/The story about the Kautilya Society work in Varanasi
The story about the Kautilya Society work in Varanasi
The Kautilya Society was one of the partners of the project. The Indian NGO was also managing an important project in Varanasi on the protection of local heritage. We wanted to include this Heritage Project in the documentary since it touched a critical modern issue - Is it possible for development to be inclusive of the preservation of local heritage? Does development necessarily have to be based on the destruction of what is old?
We crossed chaotic dense streets in the city to finally reach the old city of Varanasi that lies along the starkly contrasting calm and majestic sacred River Ganga. In this city which is one of the world's ancient most continuously living city; where there are no clear separations between the old and the new, birth and death, residential and commercial, animals and humans, the river and the city, the rich and the poor, the eternal and the transient; in this city where people come to die so that they can break their cycle of death and rebirth, why would people want to preserve what is dying - whether it is collapsing buildings or dying local arts? It was a riddle we wanted to solve. And Vrinda's passionate battle for protecting the city's dying heritage gave us a glimpse into the reasons for man's quest to connect back with his past, his history, his origins.