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19 years of saving rocks

19 years of saving rocks
Highlights

With just 300 members, the Society to Save Rocks may seem weak to outsiders but members comprising former bureaucrats, professors, writers, artists and photographers among others pack a punch. If Hyderabad is the only place in the country where rocks have been earmarked as heritage precincts,

The Society to Save Rocks started in 1996 by a group of rock enthusiasts has been soldiering on to preserve the rocks that date back to over 2,500 million years

With just 300 members, the Society to Save Rocks may seem weak to outsiders but members comprising former bureaucrats, professors, writers, artists and photographers among others pack a punch. If Hyderabad is the only place in the country where rocks have been earmarked as heritage precincts, a lot has to do with the pressure exerted by hardcore rock enthusiasts who have stood rock solid in their aim to get them listed.

Whenever real estate mafia, local goons, bureaucrats and even government departments tried eyeing rock sites-be it the Fakruddin Gutta at Gachibowli, Venkateshwara Gutta near Shamirpet and other places-members of the society stalled destruction in some cases and were partially successful in others.

Former bureaucrat Narendra Luther seemed concerned over this mafia. “If the government itself is destroying rocks, what can any individual or a group of people do? We filed a few cases and achieved partial success,” he said. In spite of limited powers at their disposal, the Society to Save Rocks has been pressurising the ‘powers that be’ in their own ways.

One such innovative was to impress upon the government was by bringing out a wall calendar for 2015 with 23 notified heritage rock precincts. Sangeeta Varma, secretary of the society, says, “The calendar would adorn the walls of all government offices and the babus would have to look at them every single day. We all hope that these beautiful pictures would make them protect the rocks.” BP Acharya, principal secretary, Telangana Tourism department released the calendar on Sunday.

The efforts of Frauke Quader, Narendra Luther, Aparajita Sinha, Amita Talwar, Padmini B Patell, Dr Sudheer Bhan, Ravi Setlem, Dr Srinivas over the years has been instrumental in keeping alive the interest in rocks among the people of Hyderabad. The monthly rock walks to different parts of the region and the annual one-day event Rockathon are popular among rock enthusiasts.

By:T P Venu

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