"... Through its programmes and investments, in collaboration with governments across the region, international partners, and communities, AKDN seeks to improve the quality of human life with a “core conviction that human progress depends on human cooperation,” which can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles."
- His Highness The Aga Khan
2017 marked ten years since the 11 July 2007 signature of the MoU marking the commencement of the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative. In keeping with AKTC projects worldwide, here too, the aim was to demonstrate that cultural heritage assets can be leveraged for socio-economic benefit of local communities and residents of historic cities.
The MoU was preceded by two years of discussion with the senior officials of the Archaeological Survey of India on conservation philosophy; discussions with the leadership of the Central Public Works Department on the vision for Government Sunder Nursery; and discussions with former Mayor of Delhi and the Municipal Councillor for the area – Mr Farhad Suri, community leaders from Nizamuddin Basti and officers of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (now South Delhi Municipal Corporation) on measures required to enhance the Quality of Life for residents of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti through interventions to upgrade health, education, sanitation infrastructure. These initial discussions and agreements were incorporated in the MoU and have served as the basis for undertaking the project since its inception.
ASI is the nodal public agency for the project. All conservation works being undertaken in Nizamuddin are guided by international and Indian Charters / Philosophy and carried out in prior consultation with the ASI. In addition to regular independent peer- reviews, an ASI Core Committee reviews conservation components of the project on a monthly basis.www.asi.nic.in
Within the jurisdiction of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation are some of the most densely populated areas in the anywhere in the world, such as Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti. Social development initiatives, in consultation with MCD, are being implemented in the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti area.www.mcdonline.gov.in
Sunder Nursery, designated as ‘District Park’ under Master plan 2021, is owned and operated by the CPWD. The master-plan for Sunder Nursery aims to create significant ecological zones with educational value while restoring the Mughal era structures that stand here and transform Sunder Nursery into a world class city park.www.cpwd.gov.in
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is a non-denominational, international development agency established in 1967 by His Highness the Aga Khan. Its mission is to develop and promote creative solutions to problems that impede social development; the Foundation reaches out to vulnerable populations irrespective of their race, religion, political persuasion or gender.www.akdn.org
Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) focuses on the physical, social, cultural and economic revitalisation of communities at heritage areas where they undertake projects in partnership with government agencies. Through this integrated approach, the Programme seeks to demonstrate that strengthening cultural identity can go hand-in-hand with socio-economic progress.www.akdn.org
The Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative demonstrates a prototype for urban revitalization with a not-for-profit Public-Private Partnership model. An enhanced level of partnership between the Public and Private Parties in their mutually shared objectives of carrying out a model project leading to conservation based development, improved quality of life for local communities and improved access to basic urban facilities.Meet the Project Team
"... By Civil Society I mean that array of institutions which are neither public, nor profit driven, but which are motivated by voluntary commitments and dedicated to the public good. They include, for example, institutions dedicated to culture, to public information, to the environment and to religious faith. And they include, very importantly, the fields of health and education in which you are so centrally involved.
A healthy Civil Society is a meritocratic one, where ethics are honored, and excellence is valued."
- His Highness The Aga Khan
"..The essential goal of global development has been to create and sustain effective nation states – coherent societies that are well governed, economically self-sustaining, equitable in treating their peoples, peaceful amongst themselves, and sensitive to their impact on planetary sustainability."
- His Highness The Aga Khan
The project from its earliest days has invested in working towards building a strong interface with the community. This has now taken the form of several different kinds of community based groups. We are planning that these will form the node for a community based organization that will take responsibility of the development needs of Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti.
Under ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act', 2010, the School Management Committee (SMC) is a mandated body. The SMC for the SDMC School in Nizamuddin was formed in 2013. The Principal of the school is the Secretary of this body and 75% of the members of this committee are the parents of children studying in the school. Since its inception in 2013, the SMC has been supported by the project to develop their capacities to increase their engagement with the school. The SMC has undergone several trainings and exposure to understand their role in the functioning of the school. An advantage of the changing membership is that the number of parents who have participated in the SMC steadily increases thereby raising awareness about their role.
There are 5 MHSCs formed as part of the community health initiative. These MHSCs cover all the 8 mohallas/neighbourhoods of the Basti – 3 are too small to have separate MHSCs. These groups take up issues that impact the health and sanitation of the areas and follow up with the concerned government department.
They have been trained on accessing and using relevant government schemes. They now conduct meetings on their own and inform the project team.
This group manages the two community toilets in Nizamuddin Basti with the support of the project team. They employ half the cleaners of the toilet complexes and supervise the work. The project is in dialogue with the SDMC to sign a tripartite agreement so that RNS will officially manage the toilets with our support.
Contact : 011 65545700
The Rehnumai Resource Centre links the community with 18 kinds of government entitlements. With an internet connection, it helps the community to apply for various papers that establish their identity to help them access the government schemes. It is an important link with the community as apart from linking them, it also provides information on how to access government entitlements.
There are 10 women’s SHGs in Nizamuddin. These are unregistered savings and credit groups. They meet on a monthly basis for monthly saving and inter loaning. Most of the members are linked to one of our programmes in the Basti.
Insha-e-Noor is the brand of the crafts groups of Nizamuddin Basti. They produce hand crafted products using sanjhi (paper cutting), crochet and aari embroidery. There are about a 100 women who are members of Insha-e-Noor. Most of the products of Insha-e-Noor are made using motifs inspired by the ensemble of Mughal monuments near Nizamuddin especially Humayun’s Tomb.
For more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/Insha.e.Noor
Contact : 011 65994467
An Eco Club has been set up for youth and children in the basti. The Club’s activities have been centred on generating awareness on Greens, Energy, Water Management, Waste Management and Recycle, Reuse and Reduce methodologies. Children from the Basti have been motivated and sensitised towards environmental issues specific to the basti through resource mapping exercises, street plays and documentaries and to bring these concerns out into public forums.
This group of young men from Nizamuddin who aim to help people explore the culture of Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin and the surrounding areas. They are trained in local history, heritage conservation and have specialized walks as their products. The community volunteers showcase the area with a sense of great pride and represents the cultural identity of the area which allows the visitor a different experiential learning.
For more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/sairenizamuddin
Zaika-e-Nizamuddin is a women’s group that began as a response to address malnourishment in children resulting from the consumption of nutritionally poor snacks between meals. The group has now expanded its repertoire to offer authentic cuisine from Nizamuddin. Food from ZeN also gives you a peek into the culture of Nizamuddin and a delightful sense of contentment, packed nicely in a box of kebabs or a bowl of biryani. That’s what makes it stand apart!
For more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/Zaika.e.Nizamuddin
This is a group of 15 women that includes users of aanganwadis/crèches and Mohalla Health and Sanitation Committee members who monitor the functioning of the aanganwadis in Nizamuddin Basti. They visit aanganwadis every week and observe the physical situation and the processes. They focus on the regularity and status of its cleanliness, timings, presence of teacher, classroom processes, growth monitoring and immunisation activities, and submit their report to the Department of Women and Child Development.
This community based monitoring is helping to strengthen the functioning of the aanganwadis.