To introduce ourselves, we are a group of professionals engaged in urban vitalization in New Delhi, India.

In the winter of 1997, three of us- myself, an architect, Ms. Shhilpi Mehra-an urban designer/architect and Ms. Jhilmil Kishore-an architect got together and decided that we would give something back to our city. Something that our training and qualifications had equipped us to provide.

In India, as in all developing countries, we noticed that while urbanization was a global phenomenon, urban design was not. Planned urbanization left a lot to be desired in some aspects of urban life. This is especially true of New Delhi, India.

Setting our targets not too high, we decided to analyse and study one of the many aspects, the phenomenon of 'Urban Villages'. This is a term that is understood by most ancient cities worldwide. It refers to villages that once outside a city's limits, are now a part of that city's urban limits. In our study, we found that Delhi contained, within urbanized limits, over one hundred villages; and several more waiting to be engulfed by the growing city. While the city has developed on a set of development rules and principles, these villages have been left to fend for themselves.

Our Pilot Project is of one such village in southern New Delhi, Munirka. Adjacent to this is the up-market Vasant Vihar residential enclave and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). All around the village one finds a method to the madness that is Delhi. Within the village, the method is missing. Other such villages suffer a similar fate.

Thus, we sought to analyse this issue and provide strategies for implementation for the development and upgradation of these villages. An extensive research and ground-survey gave us clues to the pulse of the village. We have been able to formulate and implement (partly) certain such strategies and have proposed an agenda for development. Key to our success has been the participation of the villagers. We seek to further our pilot project and carry the work on to other such villages. Our case, to bring these villages out of their isolation and lend to them the order that governs the city. To establish a dialogue between these villages and the city beyond.

Today we are a Non-Government Organization registered under the Societies Act at New Delhi, India. ANTARA (Analytical and Technical Approach to Resource Assimilation) was formed to further this cause and spread awareness of this issue. Our members include urban designers, architects, university professors, transport planners, lawyers, chartered accountants, management professionals, film-makers and social workers. All of whom feel as we felt, the need to recognise and re-organise these intrinsic elements within our city and to make it a better place.

If you would like to know more about our programme or would like to assist our research by funding our project and for membership details of ANTARA please contact us at :

Mr. Gaurav Sarin
Secretary ANTARA
492, Sector 29
Noida. 201 303 (India)

or e-mail: research_o@vsnl.com

Warm Regards.
Gaurav Sarin
B. Arch. AIIA


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