AHMEDABAD: We have done it! Ahmedabad was inscribed as a World Heritage City at the 41st session of Unesco's World Heritage Committee meeting in Karkow, Poland, on Saturday. July 8, 2017, will go down in history as the date on which India's first city received such an accolade.
Ahmedabad's nomination was supported by 20 countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia, Portugal, Peru, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Finland, Azerbaijan, Jamaica, Croatia, Poland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Korea, Croatia, Angola, and Cuba. The countries unanimously spoke in favour of Ahmedabad, citing the harmonious co-existence of Muslim, Hindu, and Jain communities.
Ahmedabad's intricately carved wooden havelis dating back hundreds of years were also hailed at the meeting. The countries also recognized the city as the cradle of India's non-violent freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi.
The Walled City of Ahmedabad will now join the likes of Paris, Cairo, and Edinburgh. Of the 287 World Heritage Cities across the globe, only two were hitherto on the Indian subcontinent: Bhaktpur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka. The Unesco tag will add immense brand value to the city and boost tourism.
Ahmedabad's journey to this landmarkachievement began in 1984 when the first study for conserving heritage structures was commissioned by Ford Foundation. The second milestone was the launch of the heritage walk from Kalupur Swaminarayan temple and the setting up of a heritage cell by the AMC. Ahmedabad entered Unesco's tentative list on March 31, 2011.
Ahmedabad municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar said: "We are officially India's first world heritage city and this is an achievement for all Amdavadis."
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