About

Hindu Samaj Heritage – Phase I (December 2012 to March 2014)

About the Project

The project will involve Sheffield’s Indian community and friends of the Indian community in exploring aspects of colonial history that link the physical and cultural heritage of the Peak District and Sheffield to their Indian heritage. It seeks to understand the Empire at home focussing on the cotton industry in the Peak District and the political, social andspiritual ideas of Edward Carpenter, the social activist and writer who lived near the Peak District, experimented with alternative life styles and had close connections with Sheffield. The groups’ discoveries will be shared with the wider community through a variety of mechanisms, especially guided walks and electronic media.

Project Steering Group

The Hindu Samaj Heritage project is run by the steering group led by Dr. Chamu Kuppuswamy. The members are Mrs. Shweta Kamat, Dr. Vithal Patel, Mr. Ashwin Patel, Dr. Dinesh Naik, Dr. Esme Cleall, Mr. Saravanan Rajendran, Mr. Sandeep Rajan, Ms. Suruchi Pacharne, Ms. Trupti Khandelwal, Mr. Bhupendra Khandelwal and Mrs. Vibha Shanbhag.

Our Project Partners

The University of Sheffield ‘ Researching Community Heritage’ team has expertise in a diverse range of subjects including archival research, oral history and archeaology. We are closely working with the history department of UoS on archive research relating to Edward Carpenter. Dr. Esme Cleall is on our steering committee and will be supervising a Phd student to do research into cotton links, and providing training for the Indian community and friends on how to do archival research. For more, see their page

http://communityheritage.group.shef.ac.uk/

The Peak District National Park Authority’s Ranger Service is one of our partners for the outdoor side of the project. The rangers are going to help us devise our heritage walks and advice us on matters relating to the National Park in general, sharing their vast cache of knowledge of the National Park! For more on the rangers and their excellent and free guided walks programme in the National Park, see the link

http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/visiting/rangerwalks

About The Hindu Samaj, Sheffield and District

Promoting Hindu faith, culture, arts, and languages amongst the members of the Hindu Community and other interested parties in Sheffield and neighbouring towns, advancing education and raising awareness about different racial groups to promote good relations between persons of different racial groups, maintaining temple premises, bringing together organisations in a common effort to advance education, preserve and protect health and provide facilities for recreation and leisure time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the Hindu community and other interested parties. Our group manages a community centre in Burngreave which offers local people access to a range of services and activities including free yoga and classical dance classes. We also host Senior citizens’ Lunch club, career advice to University students and celebrations of ethnic Indian festivals. Local Church Groups like Shiregreen & Under bank Chapel and others such as BME, Ashram, BWSG and Sheffield University students are amongst those who join us in our celebrations. The Hindu Samaj is run by volunteers. We are mostly self-funded and get grants from time to time for special events. The organisation is run by the executive committee and overseen by the Trustees.

Press Release

The Hindu Samaj, Sheffield, celebrates £8,600 Heritage Lottery Fund grant for studying Indian heritage in the Peak District. 

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The Hindu Samaj, Sheffield is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) All Our Stories grant, it was announced today. This exciting project, ‘British Raj in the Peak District: Discovering, recovering and sharing colonial history’ led by the Hindu Samaj in Sheffield, has been given £8,600 to learn about how life in and around Sheffield and the Peak District National Park was influenced by ideas and raw material from British India during the 18th and 19th centuries.

All Our Stories, a brand new small grant programme, launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two’s The Great British Story – has been designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage. With HLF funding and support, community groups will carry out activities that help people explore, share and celebrate their local heritage.

The popular series presented by historian Michael Wood and supported by a programme of BBC Learning activities and events got thousands of us asking questions about our history and inspired us to look at our history in a different way through the eyes of ordinary people.

The programme and HLF All Our Stories has proved a real hit and now ‘British Raj in the Peak District’, is one of hundreds of successful projects around the UK to receive a grant. The Hindu Samaj in Sheffield promotes Hindu faith, culture, arts, and languages amongst the members of the Hindu Community and other interested parties in Sheffield and neighbouring towns, advancing education and raising awareness about different racial groups to promote good relations between persons of different racial groups. This project will help us understand what ideas were transmitted from Hindu and Indian culture through the correspondence between Edward Carpenter, a renowned socialist writer, campaigner and experimenter in alternative lifestyles based on close connection to nature, and Mahatma Gandhi and Annie Besant from India. It will help us understand the Peak district and the Indian heritage during the industrial revolution by understanding the connection between the cotton industry in the Peak District and cotton producers in India. Through trips to heritage locations like the Old house in Bakewell and Cromford Mills near Matlock and Millthorpe, this project will promote better understanding of the Peak District National Park, while enabling the community to learn and uncover its heritage. Understanding history can be empowering and fulfilling for the Hindu and Indian community in Sheffield and building a shared understanding with the wider community on this subject can be a great learning and sharing experience, promoting community cohesion and wellbeing.

TV presenter and historian Michael Wood said: “We British love our history, and no wonder: few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep, and so much of it accessible to all of us. It is really tremendous that the people of Sheffield have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and to dig deeper into their own past. It’s brilliant that so many people are being given the chance to get involved through the All Our Stories grants. Having travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles this last year filming The Great British Story, I am certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which will not only bring to life the excitement of local history, but will illuminate and enrich every community’s connection with the national narrative.”

Commenting on the award, Dr. Dinesh Naik, Vice President of the Hindu Samaj and Sheffield resident for more than 50 years, said: “We at Hindu Samaj are delighted to have this opportunity to explore the inter-relationship between Peak District and India during the Raj. Many of us who have been settled here for a couple of generations have little or no idea about local connections to the country of our birth. We shall look forward to finding out more about people such as Edward Carpenter who had made some of these connections”.

Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the ‘British Raj in the Peak District’ community group as they embark on a real journey of discovery.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

About The Hindu Samaj, Sheffield and District

Promoting Hindu faith, culture, arts, and languages amongst the members of the Hindu Community and other interested parties in Sheffield and neighbouring towns, advancing education and raising awareness about different racial groups to promote good relations between persons of different racial groups, maintaining temple premises, bringing together organisations in a common effort to advance education, preserve and protect health and provide facilities for recreation and leisure time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the Hindu community and other interested parties. Our group manages a community centre in Burngreave which offers local people access to a range of services and activities including free yoga and classical dance classes. We also host Senior citizens’ Lunch club, career advice to University students and celebrations of ethnic Indian festivals. Local Church Groups like Shiregreen & Under bank Chapel and others such as BME, Ashram, BWSG and Sheffield University students are amongst those who join us in our celebrations. The Hindu Samaj is run by volunteers. We are mostly self-funded and get grants from time to time for special events. The organisation is run by the executive committee and overseen by the Trustees.

All Our Stories

All Our Stories is a new, simple, funding programme for 2012 with grants available ranging from £3,000 – £10,000 developed so everyone can get involved in their heritage. From researching local historic landmarks, learning more about customs and traditions to delving into archives and finding out the origins of street and place names All Our Stories will give everyone the chance to explore their heritage and share what they learn with others. This programme is now closed to new applications and decisions were made in October 2012.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported 33,000 projects, allocating £4.9billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk.

BBC Learning

BBC Learning plays a central part in meeting the BBC’s purpose of promoting education and learning. Utilising the power of the BBC’s big brands and key talent, the department puts learning right at the heart of the BBC and provides a variety of resources and learning opportunities for children, teachers, parents and adult learners. Working with partners and in local communities, BBC Learning aims to stimulate interests and encourage engagement through a variety of campaigns across all BBC genres and platforms.

Hindu Samaj Heritage – Phase II (March 2014 to January 2015)

We have been identfied as a group that have explored our heritage in the National Park to some extent, and would therefore be looking at extending some of these lines of enquiry and collect further knowledge. We will also be going on some new heritage forays in this phase of the project. The significant change is that we are working with new partners, as part of a larger project, with a good element of community engagement, National Park engagement and more academic firepower, drawing from three leading universities.

A more shared leadership with Dr. Esme Cleall, who is now the co-investigator of this phase II, which is AHRC-funded.

Global Cotton Connections: East meets West in the Derbyshire Peak District

An AHRC-Connected Communities Project

[From the project blog ]

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its Connected Communities programme, it seeks to examine the global histories and legacies of cotton in the UK’s Derbyshire Peak District through archival research and active engagement with local communities and community based groups, including those of BME heritage. Supported by the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, the project is using new archival research into cotton supplies and product use, including links to slavery, to inform collaborative work with three local community-based groups from different heritage backgrounds: members of local history and heritage societies in Glossop, a Sheffield Hindu cultural group and an inner city Nottingham group of African Caribbean heritage. The blog explores the main themes of this research, reports new information from the archives, and offers updates on our activities.

The project team (Research):

Susanne Seymour, School of Geography, University of Nottingham (PI)
Esme Cleall, Department of History, University of Sheffield (Co-I)
Martin Phillips, Department of Geography, University of Leicester (Co-I)
Lowri Jones, School of Geography, University of Nottingham (Research Fellow)
Helen Bates, community historian and facilitator

Advisory group members

Chamu Kuppuswamy, Sheffield Hindu Samaj group
Mark Suggitt, Director of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

Project contact:

Lowri Jones
Research Fellow, School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham. NG7 2RD
Days of work: Mondays & Wednesdays

Tel.: 0115 84 68412
E-mail: Lowri.Jones@nottingham.ac.uk

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  1. Pingback: HSH Phase II | Hindu Samaj Heritage I & II

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