The Cultural revival component of the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative has adopted an integrated approach with an underlying principle of preserving the living culture of the area while supporting socio economic development of the community.
The annual Apni Basti Mela (fair) celebrates more than 700 years of history and continuous living culture based of the Nizamuddin area with its focus to promote the living heritage of Nizamuddin through showcasing craft skills, built heritage, music traditions, food, and oral history of the local ommunities. Held in especially created venues such as landscaped forecourt of the 16th century Chausath Khamba and neighbourhood parks, managed to attract many first time visitors to the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti thus generating integration between the community and the visitors.
Nizamuddin’s Apni Basti Mela celebrates more than 700 years of history and continuous living culture based of the Nizamuddin area with its focus to promote the living heritage of Nizamuddin through showcasing craft skills, built heritage, music traditions, food, and oral history of the local communities. Held in especially created venues such as the 16th century Mughal structure Chausath Khamba’s forecourt which was earlier blocked away and not used by anyone; neighborhood parks which were earlier used as dumping yards and unsafe, the mela/fairs have successfully managed to attract many first time visitors to the Basti, thus generating integration between the community and the visitors.Click here to read the flier
The Mela provides an opportunity to the craft and food based SHG’s from Basti, created as a part of the livelihood component of the project, to exhibit and sell products directly to customers and get first-hand feedback. During the ‘Apni Basti mela, Insha E Noor sets up a stall of their products, and conducts workshops in paper-cutting and aari embroidery for visitors; women from Zaika E Nizamuddin group not only serves the cuisine of Nizamuddin but also conducts cooking workshops; and young boys of the Basti from Sair E Nizamuddin group conducts heritage and Sufi walks through Nizamuddin Area.Contact the Groups
The present day neighbourhood of nizamuddin basti has evolved around the 14th century dargah of the Sufi Chisti saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin auliya. Delhi, in the 13th and 14th centuries had emerged as a great spiritual centre.
The Apni Basti Mela showcases the food, crafts, arts, music, built heritage, cultural traditions practiced at Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti. The mela spread awareness and showcase the rich tangible and intangible heritage of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti seen in the specialized food, handicrafts, arts, musical traditions, built heritage and cultural traditions. Mela provides a significant economic opportunity for the bearers of these arts and craft traditions.
The present day neighborhood of Nizamuddin basti has evolved around the 14th century dargah of the Sufi Chisti saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Delhi, in the 13th and 14th centuries had emerged as a great spiritual centre.
However, due to years of negligence in urban planning and poor civic infrastructure, • basti itself has grown into an unkempt, undesirable urban ghetto mainly unknown to majority of Delhiites. Through the various heritage and cultural activities spread over 3-days, the Mela creates opportunities for people from other parts of Delhi to visit the Basti and experience the 700 years of living heritage here.
Celebrate and promote the rich and continuing since last 700 years of living culture of the Nizamuddin area through cultural programmes. Besides building awareness about their neighbourhood heritage, the event helps instill a sense of pride and generates economic benefits for the community.
The Mela also helps instill a sense of pride amongst residents as well as provide an annual platform to share diverse project components being implemented by the AKDN across the three segregated areas.