Whet an appetite for history

Whet an appetite for history

standing tall CST station at Mumbai.

Interesting snippets of information like these are flooding the Fox History and Entertainment channel offices since the beginning of this month. All this sent by school kids, who are sharpening their pencils and dashing off entries for My City My History, a nationwide school engagement programme by the channel, that invited children to share untold stories about their respective cities.

The programme, that goes on air, mid-February, is aimed at letting school children highlight lesser known historical treasures in their cities and in the process learn more about their heritage. “It is our endeavour  to take history beyond just textbooks and make it interesting and entertaining  for viewers,” says Sudha Sadhanand, Vice President –programming FOX History & Entertainment.

According to Sadhanand, My City My History is a first of its kind initiative for Fox and it is focusing on children between 11-15 years of age (class VI-IX). The aim is to reach out to nearly 5,00,000 children from over 500 schools across the country. A deliberate decision has been taken to not involve any celebrities in the project so that the focus is completely on children and the rich heritage of India.

The effort has included some fascinating heritage walks conducted by the channel in 25 cities with children visiting lesser known monuments with experts and learning more about history. For instance, the heritage walk in Delhi, covered Humayun’s tomb, Mehrauli village and Basti Nizamuddin.

The programme is in partnership with INTAC (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage). From the entries received winners will be short-listed by a panel of jury comprising INTACH representatives and historians.

The selection process will pick the five best entries this month and winners will get to present their stories on television in February. The judging criteria will be the factual correctness and composition of the story. Once the five winners are selected, 15-minute capsules will be shot with each student at the location.

Did you know
- Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or CST is the second most photographed monument in India after the Taj Mahal. The Victorian Gothic style architecture, standing good for over 120 years now is not just the headquarter for Central Railways but has also been one of the most loved signature monuments of Mumbai.

- Karim’s in Delhi, knows for its spicy chicken and lip smacking mutton curries is actually a part of Mughal history. Cooking royal food has been the hereditary profession of Karim's. Recipes they serve are supposed to have been passed down generations, right from the times of the Mughal emperor, Babur.

- Since time immemorial, Srirangapattana has been an urban center and place of pilgrimage. It was one of the first to celebrate a Navratri festival in 1610. It became the de facto capital of Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and later flourished as the cosmopolitan capital. Various Indo-Islamic monuments that dot the town, such as Tipu Sultan’s palaces, the Darya Daulat and the Jumma Maseedi date from this period.
Rachna Bisht-Rawat

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