NAVINA JAFAs ancestral home was in Badayun UP. Father Virendra Singh Jafa was born in Badayun.
New Delhi (India), May 27: The cultural technocrat and classical dancer Navina Jafa was featured in ‘Tejaswini,’ a flagship programme produced by the Doordarshan News to highlight women who have distinguished themselves in taking up challenges and realising high aspirations.
Navina Jafa defined a cultural technocrat as someone who approaches culture from different knowledge streams and documents human responses to geographical variations. These responses, explained Navina Jafa, are manifested in buildings, customs, local dresses, cuisine, crafts and much more. Navina Jafa, as a cultural technocrat, works to create sustainability for local creative communities through innovations by linking new audiences/consumers to these cultural expressions. Jafa described how she had applied her understanding of culture to various sectors such as Heritage tourism, heritage education, development communication and cultural diplomacy.
As a cultural technocrat, Navina Jafa said in Tejaswini’ that sustainability of culture can come when strategic planning goes beyond one-time events. She described her recent curated tour to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, where she took a group of visitors to experience the marginalised culture of the nomadic Fakrani Jats. Jafa spoke about the pastoral community rearing swimming camels, singing extraordinary Sufi music and the women having a distinct embroidery skill. Jafa said, “After the heritage tour, I have, for instance, recently sent children’s books to the community library. It is all about creating trust and guiding the community to conserve their culture
Jafa enthusiastically described her engagement with folk and street performers. Navina recounted how she charted a bahurupiya yatra (procession of traditional impersonators) for the Election Commission of India in the 2019 General Elections covering three districts in Rajasthan. “The objective of the performances was bringing registered women voters to come and vote. As the vice president of an NGO, Centre for New Perspective, we travelled with 15 folk performers and performed interactive, open-ended plays in 56 villages covering three districts in Rajasthan. We also conducted a survey during the performances. As a result, there was a marginal 2% increase in voter participation in each district,” said Jafa.
Navina Jafa, in the programme, spoke about the inspiration she got from her father, Virendra Singh Jafa, former secretary Government of India and mentioned how in 1986, he came up with the idea of the speed post, the high-speed postal service provided by India Post. “Our mealtime conversations in my childhood were always about dreaming big, exploring the world and unique stories about human achievement and creativity. Moreover, my mother, Manorama Jafa, a well-known children’s literature expert, constantly created curiosity in me,” said Navina Jafa.