"... 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 construction of Humayun’s Tomb Site Museum, a facility of the Archaeological Survey of India is being funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency for the formulation of national policies and programs and for the co-ordination of activities of various Central and State Government Agencies for the development and promotion of tourism in the country.
Tata Trusts is amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organizations. The conservation of Humayun’s Tomb and the monuments within the garden enclosure was carried out with co-funding from the Tata Trusts, along with the conservation and landscape restoration of Nila Gumbad. Through the ‘Rethinking Conservation’ series, Trust has supported publications and documentary films on various conservation practices and topics. Additionally, it has supported the community health outreach and education programmes in the Nizamuddin Basti.
Havells India Limited is a leading Fast Moving Electrical Goods (FMEG) Company and a major power distribution equipment manufacturer with a strong global presence. With the belief that business is an active entity of the society and the economy, the company plays a strong role in nation- building. As part of its CSR initiative, the company is funding the conservation of Sabz Burj and construction of Humayun’s Tomb Interpretation center.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NORFA) is the largest ministry in the government administration, which does yearly distribution of grants to Norwegian and foreign recipients. At the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative, NORFA is supporting the cultural activities and landscape and development of the Barapullah Nallah in the Basti, setting up of a Garden House, and aiding in the creation of nursery beds in Sundar Nursery.
InterGlobe Foundation, the philanthropic arm of InterGlobe is collaborating with AKTC on the restoration of the tomb of Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khanan, making it the first ever corporate sponsorship of conservation at any of India’s national monuments. The project covers structural repairs and restoration of the monument as well as cultural revival and creation of public awareness of the life and works of Rahim - a poet and one of the key figures in the court of the Emperor Akbar.
With the belief that cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity, the AFCP supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in over 100 countries. Since 2010, the AFCP grants have led to the conservation of Sundar Burj; conservation and landscape restoration of three Mughal era monuments in the Batashewala complex, and conservation of the Arab Serai Bazaar and gateway.
The US Embassy funded English Access Micro-scholarship Programme aims at improving English language skills amongst 14-16 year olds through interaction with a team of trained English teachers. Initiated in January 2010, the Access centre has enrolled 565 students residing in the basti. Access gives participants English skills, through after-school classes and intensive sessions that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects.
Ford Foundation is a global organization which has supported the cultural revival component and Aalam E Khusrau music programme in the Basti, which aims at revitalizing the historic neighbourhood through cultural activities centred around the tangible and intangible heritage elements in the Basti. The project aims to demonstrate that culture is an effective tool for the development of our historic city centres.
DUHF was set up by DDA with objectives to provide assistance to individuals, institutions and NGO’s in their effort to save components of urban heritage excluding those which are under ASI. At the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative, their grant supports the monuments area development and conservation works of AKTC in the dense historic settlement of the Basti.
Department of Archaeology, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, is responsible for protection, conservation and maintenance of lesser known monuments in Delhi which are beyond the purview of ASI. At the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative, their grant supported the conservation of the Tomb of Sayyid Yasin and conservation of the 16th century Azimganj Serai -the historic and earliest Mughal period Serai in Delhi.
World Monuments Fund is a leading independent organization dedicated to saving the world’s most treasured places. Founded in 1965, WMF has supported the preservation of important architectural and cultural heritage sites in more than ninety countries. Since 2010, the conservation works on the Isa Khan’s Tomb - Garden and Bu Halima Tomb - Garden within the Humayun’s Tomb complex have been co-funded by WMF.
The grant from the German Embassy, Delhi supported the complex project of conservation of the 16th century Chausath Khamba, a Mughal-era tomb in the Basti. In one of the most complex conservation efforts ever undertaken, each marble piece, most weighing over 1000 kilos, from the 25 domed cells, was dismantled to remove the iron dowels many of which had rusted and thus causing immense damage to the marble. The German embassy has also co-funded the construction of a women toilet block and sports equipment at the Zenana Bagh created as part of the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative.
The Hilti company make and designs leading-edge technology, software and services, which power the professional construction industry. Tools from the company have been used during some complex conservation works in the project. The grant from Hilti is supporting the museography elements in the upcoming Humayun’s Tomb Site Museum, showcasing the architecture and cultural heritage of Nizamuddin Area.
Since 2013 GSRD has co-funded project components aimed towards increasing employability and employment options in the Basti. As part of this grant over 275 Basti youth have been trained in the field of vocational trainings and certificate courses in programmes like computers, accounting, data entry, customer service associated training, and masonry, plumbing, electrical and video editing field. Women from the Basti have been trained in the area of providing early childhood care.
The J.M. Kaplan Fund is a New York City–based family foundation, which champions inventive giving, that supports transformative social, environmental, and cultural causes. In 2008, the grant from the J.M. Kaplan fund supported the conservation works on the monuments like the Mughal Pavilion, Graves Platforms, and the Arched Platform in Sundar Nursery.
In 2011-12, HUDCO/HSMI supported vocational training for 240 youth and women in the Basti in the fields of hospitality, computer training, basic electrical training and traditional crafts. Nearly 40% of the youth and women were able to find jobs soon after the training. Under the aegis of National Culture Fund (NCF), HUDCO also supported the conservation works on the Sundarwala Mahal – a 16th century Mughal-period monument in Sundar Nursery.
The grant supported multiple project components like heritage awareness, education and livelihood groups. It was used for strengthening of the ‘Sair e Nizamuddin’ SHG by enhancing knowledge base and skill and infrastructure of heritage volunteers. The grant also supported the production of an activity book for the Nizamuddin area aimed at the large student groups coming to the sites. It also provided resource support for the community teachers working in the SDMC School and supported the new product range of Basti women’s SHG of Insha E Noor.
The Australian High Commission support to the Insha Crafts Center in September 2014.The grant was given majorly to strengthen the center through equipments, raw material, skill up gradation and capacity enhancement of the members. It also provided grant to the Basti women’s SHG – Zaika E Nizamuddin for its various initiatives like Enterprise Development, skill Training, setting up of a Binding and Packaging unit, capacity building and exposure of the members and brand building of the group.
Ministry of Culture under Govt of India has the mission to preserve, promote and disseminate all forms of art and culture. The grant was utilized to support and promote the revival of Nizamuddin’s rich cultural wealth through Apni Basti Mela and the work and life of legendary poet Hazrat Amir Khusrau. Under this grant, the ministry provided financial support for seminars/symposia and research conducted in the Aalam E Khsurau Programme.
The 'Culture as a Tool for Urban Development' seminar organised by AKTC with the support of the Planning Commission shared learning's from the Nizamuddin project as well as from other multi-disciplinary projects all over India, with a diverse audience of bureaucrats from countrywide locations, planners, urban architects, film makers, artists, demonstrating the need to understand cultural context as well as leverage this for economic gain and well being of local communities. The papers presented during the conference were published in ‘Seminar’ magazine, May 2014 issue.
On 30 May 2014, during a sandstorm of unprecedented wind velocity exceeding 150 km/ hour the wooden core of the finial snapped at the point where this rises above the dome. Scientific analysis revealed the 99.42% purity of the copper sheets used here by the Mughals, and finished with 4-5 layers of pure gold. Titan Company Ltd., provided the gold required to authentically finish the finial. Titan’s support extended to their undertaking the gilding within their secure factory premises and under the supervision of their team of scientists.
When the project began in 2007-08, five DDA parks along the western edge of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti were in a state of misuse and inaccessible to residents. In November 2009, AKTC and DDA signed an agreement that has allowed AKTC to undertake landscaping of Basti Parks. The parks are now managed by the community and landscape works are being initiated on parks on the northern and eastern end of the basti as well.
Following the physical survey of the Basti and mapping of the various urban infrastructure, revealed the urgent need of improving of the key basti streets and sewage lines. The repair and rehabilitation of sewerage and water supply pipelines has been carried out by the Delhi Jal Board based on the infrastructure mapping and assessment shared with them.
"..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.
As per the act Every principal employer employing 20 or more contract workers or having employed 20 or more contract workers on any day of the preceding 12 months, is required to obtain a Registration Certificate.
The Proprietor/ Partner/ Director/ CEO/ HOD or any other officer appointed/ duly authorized to Act as a principal employer by the board of directors of the principal employer’s establishment is eligible to apply for a Registration Certificate.
Since, in the Nizamuddin Project we have engaged employed contractor/s to supply contract workers for more than 20, we have registered ourselves vide Registration certificate no CLA/PE/1/2008/DLC/NDD/13 dated 09.01.2008. As a part of the required compliance, we have uploaded the RC copy to our official website.