in 2004 by ACF and the Beginnings of the Craft bazaar in 2004
The people living the Roza were mainly migrants who had come and settled around the Roza at different points in time. It was a fragmented community. Most of them were daily wage earners. In an effort to reach out to the people living around the Roza, ACF decided to commence education classes for children living around the Roza. With a single municiple school and one private school, within a two kilometer radius of the monument, the classes were commenced more as an effort to support children in formal schools. The pre-school classes also helped to support children when they applied for admissions in the formal school/s.
Besides the Education Centre, efforts were made for skill enhancement of the women living nearby. Collaborations were made with other organisations to provide training in stitching and embroidery to the women. Various platforms available through the development sector were taken to help in the marketing. The Education Centre (2004-2007) and the Craft Bazaar initiative ( ongoing) was supported and funded by ACF.
The Sarkhej Roza Community Project- Linking Sarkhej Roza and Beyond
This project was conceptualized last year during Sheila Klein’s visit to Ahmedabad and subsequently to the Roza. Based on her series Hall of Architecture an effort has been made to teach the art of crochet to a select group of women interested in learning the craft. It is envisaged that a movement will be made towards creating a large sized art piece in the course of the next year. The architecturally scaled textile will be crocheted of vegetable dyed cotton. The artwork will be made in collaboration with artist Sheila Klein, students from NID and most importantly the women from the nearby community near the mosque. The material will be locally sourced. The hope is that the piece will be sold to benefit the monument
Additionally NID students and the artist will design some products (apparel or home decor) that the women can produce as an income stream and to continually fund projects at the mosque or for the community. The artist is donating the time to produce the work and all aspects of the project. Her travel was funded by The Foundation for Contemporary Art, New York, NY
As an addition to the efforts by AUDA to improve access and infrastructure, ACF undertook massive tree plantations. These were held for consecutive years in the monsoon season. The opportunities provided by these events were used to involve the community living nearby the monument to feel part of the development.
As part of ACF’s efforts to involve citizens’ of Ahmadabad in the development of the Roza, consultative meetings have been held at the Roza to get ideas from people. Besides this, many individuals have also been brought to the Roza to give suitable ideas for it’s development. An important consultative meet was held in February 2005 which formed a cornerstone in providing direction to ACF work at the Roza.
ACF has been advocating for the preservation and development of the Roza with the ASI, AUDA, AMC and the State Tourism Department at various points in time.
A traditional festival of Rajjab, which has many parallel similarities to the Shravan month in the Hindu calendar, is celebrated by the Muslims in Gujarat. Visiting the shrine of the saint on each of the four Thursdays of this month, forms part of the rituals of this holy month. The number of religious visitors at Sarkhej during these Thursdays is tremendous, amounting to 25000 people per day.
In the year 2005, it was felt that this opportunity should be used to educate the visitors about Sarkhej and it's environs. Panels containing information on the history of Sarkhej were put up near the entrance, the sales outlet of the Publication department was shifted near the main entry, notice boards displaying beautiful photographs of the various monuments were also put up. It was decided that in the long term this space near the entry should be converted into an Information Centre for both the local and foreign visitors.
The Sarkhej Roza had a 500 year old tradition of celebrating Janamshtami (the birth of Lord Krishna). This had been stopped after the riots of 1985 that had created a communal rift between the two communities since Janamashtami is a Hindu festival.
ACF revived the celebration at the Roza in 2005. This was widely covered in the Media (both print and digital)
Janamashtami Celebrations 2015