Punjab Virsa Digitization Initiative helps to preserve the past manuscripts from loss through digitization and enables the present generation to access it merely at the click of a mouse.
The project “Virsa” began in 2003. Capturing literature, art and cultural dimensions, the life blood of any age, Nanakshahi has collaborated and worked with major private and government institutions and individuals to help digitally preserve almost a million documents spanning over 300 years’ of rare literature and art in hand written and printed form, besides periodicals, old newspapers, pictures, research papers, audio visuals, coins, important historical documents, chronicles, memoirs, diaries and so on.
After the completion of digitization project of Manuscripts section in Government Museum and Art gallery, Chandigarh, Nanakshahi finished a pilot project for the library of Kurukshetra University. There it digitized about 40,000 folios from 430 manuscripts, in five different scripts. Most important amongst them were 323 manuscripts of now extinct Sharda lipi. In the second half of the last year, the organization initiated a project to digitize the complete collection of 592 manuscripts of the Language Department of Pañjab, Patiala.
About 85 manuscripts have miniatures. Both digital technology and the discipline of digitization have advanced with leaps and bounds in recent years, and so has its application. Nanakshahi continues to explore its potentials and implement them in preservation projects for the benefit of masses.
Any civilization that preserves its old cultural heritage must be complimented profusely as it instills a sense of pride and belonging to the present generation. Rare manuscripts digitized till date include a manuscript of Guru Granth Sahib dating 1653 AD and another dating 1676 AD which has Nishan of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. Oldest manuscript digitized till date is in Sanskrit from Kurukshetra University collection, which dates back to 15th century.
Davinder Pal Singh
|Kuknalim.com: Nagas on the net
www.kuknalim.com is a true Naga cultural milieu where anything to do with Nagas and Nagaland is available. It was started in May 2001 keeping in mind the Naga people, their rich culture, traditions and the hill-state’s enormous tourism potential. The internet’s strong presence and the absence of sites exclusively for Nagas triggered the evolution of kuknalim.com.
The website records more than three million page views a month. It has over 5,600 registered members and has informal alliance with Naga organizations all over the world carrying their news and thereby connecting with the Nagas on a single platform. The website has tied-up with The Morung Express, Nagaland’s premier Newspaper, to provide up-to-date news and pictures from Nagaland.
Kuknalim.com started the Christmas Charity Programme in 2006. Nagas from all over the world donated money, clothes and gifts for the programme which was given to an organization serving the needy. Last year, the website helped Community Education Center, Dimapur, which financed education for children coming from poor families.
Nagas discover their identity when they visit the site and feel as if they have come to their home. The initiative displays innovative use of ICT in creating a platform for all those interested in Nagas and Nagaland weaving with through the culture thread. The website has also taken the leap of connecting the better placed Nagas living outside Nagaland with the disadvantaged residing in Nagaland and thereby helping the disadvantaged move up the socio-economic ladder. The journey so far of the website demonstrates that the model has potential for replication for other Indian communities.
|<< Last year, the website helped Community Education Center, Dimapur, which financed education for children coming from poor families. >>
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