Vijay Goel and his son Siddhant Goel undertook the Herculean task of restoring Haveli Dharampura six years ago. It was indeed Siddhant who encouraged his father to take up this challenge and pursue his passion. The reassurance by Siddhant instilled confidence in Vijay Goel that this endeavor shall be a resounding success. Vijay Goel, currently a Rajya Sabha member, earlier represented Chandani Chowk in the Lok Sabha. A multifaceted personality, Goel has been passionately pursuing his interests in preserving the old heritage of the walled city. Apart from his popular achievements in getting the lottery banned nationwide, he has also set up a foundation, the Heritage India Foundation to preserve India’s cultural heritage. The foundation has not only stressed the need to preserve the ancient monuments but also disseminate information to people about heritage and work to bring about a desirable change in people’s approach towards buildings of great antiquity and aesthetic value.
A keen lover of Heritage, Goel has received the Global Excellence award and the prestigious Sur-Sadhna award for his contribution in the field of Culture, Heritage and Development. A folk and ghazal singer, a Tabla player and an avid photographer, he has also authored a book on Chandani Chowk called “The Emperor’s City”. Rediscovering Chandani Chowk and its environs through this book, Goel has brought to light the lesser known facts about Purani Dilli.
As the leader who has always strived hard to work for the issues related to Delhi, Goel has taken several initiatives to get the soul back into the 350-year old city of Shahjahanabad. The first step Goel took in restoring the city’s lost glory was to organize the resplendent “Chaudhvin Ka Chand” at Chandni Chowk in 1998 which truly reflected the culture of the walled city and recreated the ambience of Shahjahan’s era. Five lakh visitors came to celebrate the event. The entire stretch from Lal Qila to Fatehpuri Masjid was restored and decorated. The facades of all the buildings were repainted with the same color. Power transformers along the road were fenced and painted, pavements were cleared of encroachments and lamp posts were replaced. The festival lasted only for three years till the time Goel was an MP. He made it an example for restoration of the city.
An ardent believer in the method of practical conservation required to restore Chandani Chowk, he has always worked to make Chandani Chowk the best tourist centre in the city.