Varied forms of ICH that define a people and impart a unique cultural identity to them have existed in India for centuries, yet many of our oral traditions and indigenous knowledge systems are under threat in the modern world. The ICH division of INTACH aims to document and safeguard some of the endangered cultural expressions that sustain traditional communities and which have social meaning and relevance today. Initiatives to collect and disseminate intangible heritage are extremely important as they foster human creativity and cultural diversity, both of which are crucial elements in enriching society.

The division has worked on various aspects of intangible cultural heritage, including documentation and cultural mapping of communities and cities, organising important international seminars on endangered languages in India, on oral traditions and on Himalayan heritage, documentation of dying crafts and traditional knowledge, and providing a platform for inter-community dialogue.

The division works towards the safeguarding of ICH in the following ways:

  • Research and documentation of the ICH of communities
  • Spreading awareness through outreach activities
  • Publications, audio-visual documentation and reports on the subject