Kathmandu, October 30, 2017: An unprecedented example of the community’s involvement in the process of rebuilding fallen heritage unfolded over the last weekend, with the citizen-led Rebuild Kasthamandap movement publicly showcasing its progress in the preparatory tasks for the reconstruction of the iconic 7th-century shelter.
Kasthamandap stood tall as a symbol of communal harmony and openness until it collapsed to the ground in the April 2015 earthquake.
Rebuild Kasthamandap’s 3-days-long workshop, held with the theme “Let’s Engage and Interact to Rebuild Kasthamandap” came to a meaningful conclusion Saturday afternoon. In the open space adjacent to the ruins of Kasthamandap, an attractive exhibit was put up comprising of a miniature paper model of Kasthamandap, the architectural drawings prepared by Rebuild Kasthamandap’s architects and graphical representations of social, cultural and religious activities that have been practiced by different community groups in and around Kasthamandap for centuries.
Visitors and passersby were encouraged to point out how they used the physical space of Kasthamandap on a large diagram that showed Kasthamandap and its periphery.
Interested people were also asked to speak briefly on any aspect of the rebuilding process. In addition, close to one hundred individuals submitted their feedback in written form.
While most of the opinions and suggestions collected at the event dealt with the graphical presentations displayed at the event, some of them covered broader areas such as governance issues related to community-led reconstruction, raising funds, quality control and revival of traditional practices and sociocultural activities linked with Kasthamandap once the physical reconstruction is completed.
It was obvious from the touching reactions of the people who attended the event that they still hold a deep interest for the reconstruction of Kasthamandap, and to do it the right way – more resilient to future disasters, while maintaining its originality. It was clear that everyone who attended were profoundly engrossed in the issue of the proper way of rebuilding this landmark, be it professionals who came there with the specific intent of giving technical advice, or casual passersby whose attention were drawn to the attractive display and stopped by to express their two bits. Many a visitor got carried away with emotion, reminiscing on the good times they had spent with Kasthamandap as a pivotal point of their daily lives.