Bait ul Meeras is an effort to make younger generation aware & conscious of their rich culture. In today’s highly connected world, the youth ambassadors travel and meet people around the globe. Therefore, they should be in a better place to explain and define the place they belong to.
Why this initiative:
Kashmir has more to it than meets the eye. Apart from being world famous for its lofty snow-clad mountains, the fresh water streams, the natural meadows and its flora and fauna. It is also an old civilization. The main city Srinagar that has retained the name since it was built around 6th century AD.
Through centuries it has handed over the customs, traditions, the language from one generation to another. During the course of its existence it has also absorbed cultures, arts & crafts and religious influences from travelers who crossed the high mountain passes to have glimpse of the beautiful vale and some them settled here only for the rest of their lives.
So Bait ul Meeras is an effort to make younger generation aware and conscious of their rich culture. In this highly connected world in which we live now as the youth ambassadors travel and meet their counterparts around the globe, they should be in a better position to explain and define them the place they belong to.
Each Kashmiri is like an artisan who is patient and focused weaving a magic with their hands and fingers on soft fabrics, and creating unique designs and patterns. Thus these arts & crafts have built our temperament, given us unique identity and a reason for our mannerism and etiquettes.
Inside of Bait-ul-Meeras:-
1. Art & Craft
Sheher-Khass is a hub of artisans who have inherited the art from their fore-fathers. Bait-ul-Meeras acts as a perfect platform for these artisans. The idea is to develop a learning centre of arts & crafts at Bait-ul-Meeras. The interested women can learn and perfect the skills in traditional kashmiri arts & crafts like ari & sozni, pashmina wool-spinning and carpet weaving for boys. Traditional weaving looms called “waan” in Kashmiri have been set up for carpet weaving and shawl weaving like Kani shawls and pashmina Shawls. One can also find “yender” “spinning wheel in kashmiri”. In yesteryears these yenders used to be the symbol of empowerment for the women, who wove the success stories of their families on these yenders and thus lifted their families out of poverty traps.
One of the silent but assertive rooms of the Bait ul Meeras is the library room. Here books for children and literary works have been displayed in book shelves. People can come and read the books of their choice. Till date more than 800 books have been added for benefits for the public.
Gallery is the core and the main attraction of Bait ul Meeras. The Gallery will aim at recollection of arts and aesthetics of bygone era in Kashmir and also revival of crafts that are slowly fading from the cultural landscape. The timing of launch coincided with UNESCO adding the Srinagar city to “The Creative Cities Network 2021 list”. This is a well deserved distinction for the Srinagar city having being founded in 3rd century BC by Ashoka, the great Buddhist king. Thus the Gallery at Bait ul Meras is an effort of HELP Foundation to preserve the rich traditions, arts & heritages of Kashmir that was inherited since the journey began in since then and then the central Asianfor the younger generation.
The Gallery showcases artifacts, traditional dresses & sandals, artistic items, jewellery, utensils and musical instruments that were used in the past but are raely seen or used anymore. It will also showcase rare and privately owned manuscripts from the region for display. The Gallery will also hold art exhibitions from time to time that depict life and culture of kashmir.
5. Computer Courses
Bait ul Meeras will also be used to keep our tech savvy students abreast with latest courses in the IT world so that they go to build on their careers without any hindrances or financial constraints. Most of the courses are taught free and latest computers and qualified teachers have been roped in for the purpose by KEI.
While renovating the tech lab, KEI has maintained the interiors in traditional architecture, matching with grandeur of the Bait ul Meeras. Most of the work has been completed and procurement of IT infra is being done. KEI team has also started mobilization among the students living in the vicinity and on the social media. Girl students are being prioritized for the courses.
Thus Bait ul Meeras while passing on the rich heritage and culture to the younger generation will also make them ready to face the future by making them teach savvy. Tech-awareness sessions, digital literacy workshop, and lot of foundational courses in web development, computer graphics and cloud technology will be started in the Bait ul Meeras.