Amid the Rajasthan government’s apathy to keep its architectural heritage spick and span, especially the stepwells, that are wonderful structures of ancient water conservation techniques and that are gradually inching towards oblivion, the postal department has taken a step to keep them alive, at least in the hearts of the people.
In an initiative, the postal department has released stamps featuring 16 stepwells of the country as a gesture of its concern for their steadily deteriorating state. The price of these stamps has a range of INR 5 to INR 15, which will soon be available for sale through all the philatelic bureaus.
Of these 16 stepwells chosen for making them eternal by way of postal stamps, six are from Rajasthan. These include Turji ka Jhalra of Jodhpur, Pamma, Iyan ki Baori of Jaipur, Chand Baori of Abhaneri, Raniji ki Baori and Nagar Sagar Kund of Bundi and Neemrana Baori of Alwar.
Director (Postal, Jodhpur Zone) K K Yadav said that these step wells have an indelible contribution in addressing the water needs by way of their unique water conservation technique.
“Considering their importance, we have tried to enliven these marvelous structures and sensitise the people about their importance,” Yadav said.
These step wells have been drawing the attention of the tourists since years but the state of gross neglect, these structures have been subjected to by both the people and the governments, have posed a threat to their existence.
In Jodhpur, which has about two dozen small and big stepwells, the Jodhpur Municipal Corporation had struck upon an idea of offering adoption of these stepwells but except one of them, none came forward to adopt them for their restoration.
But the concern for their architecture and core value has always been put at stake even by its custodians like the JMC, which had issued tenders of restoration of 10 of such step wells some time back and the work was given to the civil contractors, who had no idea at all about restoration of an architectural master peace of yesteryears.
The INTACH had then intervened and had taken up the work of restoration of two such step wells with the help of the experts.