From Dustbin to Mysterious Heritage Place The Transformation of Ramkund !

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Ramkund, the small well-temple hidden in the corners of Bhuj, only to be found when searched for, had a very special day on 29th April 2017. The school of Bhuj 'Shishukunj' and 'Bhuj Bole Chhe' organized an awareness program to make the people of Bhuj aware of this hidden heritage treasure and of treating it like that and not like a dustbin.

Day to day Ramkund only sees a few prayers, a few people who feed the fish living in its dirty water and many people who come here to take selfies. Hardly anyone stops by just to appreciate that it still exists and that it has a story to tell. But Ramkund is there every day - silent - showing us its ancient beauty and getting from us only plastic bags and bread crumps thrown inside it in return, slowly being suffocated by our mindlessness.

But on Saturday, 29th April, Ramkund’s sad routine was majorly disturbed and the old temple saw things that it did not see since long.

Things started getting really unusual for Ramkund at around four in the afternoon. Out of the blue a few people with long sticks started poking around in its green polluted water and removed plastic bag after plastic bag, that were resting heavy in Ramkunds centre since long.

These people were the nagarpalika officials that tried to clean the water of the temple after a long time. Unfortunately the waste situation is worse than expected. When people come to feed the fishes, the movement of the fishes already reveals lots of muddy black substance from the ground of the well. This already gives a hint that there must be a very thick layer of waste on the ground. And sadly it is too much that the nagarpalika could remove it with the tools they already have. Much bigger, special tools are needed and the water needs to be removed entirely to really clean it and give Ramkund a chance to recover since a long time. Still it is not foreseeable when this will happen but what is already more than clear is that we need to stop treating Ramkund like a giant dustbin. It is an ancient temple and it is still very beautiful. So stop throwing waste in it or around its edges for the wind will blow every waste that is near it inside it and Ramkund will just suffocate.

People who seemed to have understood this are the students of Shishukuj High school who were invited to the awareness day. After hearing why it is important to at least keep the edges of Ramkund clean, the children were very ambitious. They put on gloves and breathing masks and then started cleaning. Picking up waste with their hands and sweeping the floor with brooms, they seemed to enjoy transforming Ramkund from a giant dustbin into a clean, calm and mysterious place that has a history to tell.

Additionally to making Ramkund look clean, they also let it look extra special on that day. With the help of their ambitious teachers, the children created the most bright, colourful and beautiful rangolis to decorate Ramkund’s edges. With their small hands and glowing eyes they worked their hardest to give the now clean and fresh looking Ramkund the glamour it deserves.

Glowing so beautifully in the sunshine, the rangolis seemed to catch the attention of everyone who walked by, and more and more people stopped and took a look at what was going on at Ramkund, that place where usually only the wind blows plastic bags through the air and some lonely fish swim in a pool of unhealthy water.

And even when the son started to disappear, people kept showing up. Because that was the time when the teachers and the Bhuj Bole Chhe team distributed divas (candles) in every todla, every small window-like candle stand there is in Ramkund, as well as on the steps of several of the many stairs leading to the water.

When the sun set the divas were lit and Ramkund which was earlier that day just silent, later then screaming with colours was now silent again but whispering to everyone who was there, giving the people of Bhuj back peace and calmness to thank them that on this day, after a long time, they finally payed attention to it and gave it back a piece of its original beauty.

Cora Samusch's picture