An effort towards conserving the world’s largest river island
Pune, January 24, 2019: With its quest to give quality education to the budding architects and urban designers, VIT’s Padmabhushan Dr. Vasantdada Patil College of Architecture, Pirangut, Pune ventured into an unknown territory of Assam in the form of their Urban DesignStudio of the first year students of Post-Graduate Program in Urban Design (the Year 2018-19). The studio focused on the largest river island in Asia called Majuli situated in Assam in river Brahmaputra. With its diverse peculiarity in terms of nature, ecology, people, cultural patterns, lifestyle, civilization, Majuli is a place to visit for someone who seeks serenity and solace.
Wrapped around by the gushing Brahmaputra, Majuli faces perennial floods which have serious implications on the way people live there. With this background as the primary study and the support of ASEEM Foundation, Pune, the urban design first-year students of PVPCOA undertook the urban study of the peculiar settlements in Majuli in all aspects possible. Ably guided by the college director. Prof.Prasanna Desai, the study focused on understanding the urban issues and tried to understand how urban designers can help solve those. The vast Brahmaputra creates a disconnect between Jorhat and Majuli. The island brings forth a unique culture in the form of its religious beliefs and methods of worship, folk dances, local art and craft, music, literature and many more aspects. The connection of the people living there to nature is deep-rooted. Having said that, the place also is in dilemma of manmade interventions and nature.
The aim of the study was to analyze and envision Majuli. This lead to the evolution of two perspectives in terms of conserving the charm of Majuli while moving towards the future. One based in the idea of ‘Self-Sustainability’ and second is ‘Interdependency’.This studio was guided by a PVPCOA’s Faculty team of Ar. MinalSagare, Ar. Anuj Chawla, Ar. Vikrant Shinde and Ar. SarangInamdar – all architects and urban designers. PVPCOA’s team also visited Majuli for this study, and this visit was made possible with the immense help of Shri. VaibhavNimbalkar (IPS) and Shri. Pallav Gopal Jha (Former DC, Majuli).
An exhibition displaying the study and the student’s work of this extraordinary place got inaugurated on Friday, 18th January 2019. It was inaugurated at the hands of Shri. Shri. Paramanand Dev Goswamiji, Satradhikar of GarmurSatra, Majuli. On this occasion, a book titled‘Envisioning Majuli, Assam’was released. It is based on the study of Majuli by PVPCOA students and is put together by students and faculty team of Urban Design department of PVPCOA. This occasion was also graced by the presence of dignitaries from Majuli and Pune. Shri. ParagKataki (Sahayak, GarmurSatra, Majuli), Shri. TridibGoswamiji (VKV, Majuli), Shri. VishwasLapalkar (Prantsanghatak, Vivekanand Kendra Maharashtra), Lt. Gen. (Retd.)Vinayak Patankar (Advisor, Aseem Foundation), Sarang Gosavi (President, Aseem Foundation), Shri. Adv. Abhay Chajed (Chairman, VIT’s PVPCOA), Shri. JitendraPitaliya (Secretary, VIT’s PVPCOA), Shri. Ar. Vikas Bhandari (Mentor, VIT’s PVPCOA), Shri. Ar. NarendraDengle (Academic Chair, VIT’s PVPCOA), Shri. Ar. Prof. Prasanna Desai (Director, VIT’s PVPCOA).This programme was joined and graced online by Shri. Nitin Gokhale (Renowned Defence Analyst, Author, and Journalist) from Delhi, Dr. Nava Kumar Gam (Principal, Majuli College, Representing the Missing tribe) from Majuli along with a group of around two hundred people at Vivekanand Kendra Vidyalaya, and Shri. BasudevGoswami (Principal, VKV Majuli).
The exhibition has been visited so far by Shri. Vishal Solanki (IAS), Former chief secretary to Chief Minister-Assam, Shri Mohan Rao (World renowned Architect) among many other dignitaries and also many professional architects, aspiring architects, and common people. The exhibition is being lauded as an inspirational effort, and many people have expressed their wish to contribute to the implementation of this proposal as well.
The event is jointly organized by ASEEM Foundation Pune led by Mr. Sarang Gosavi and students and faculty team of Urban Design Department, PVPCOA, Pune.
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