PROFILE OF CURRENT FELLOWS
2021 – 22
2021 – 22
Abhijit is a civil engineer from Nanded, Maharashtra with an M.Tech in Water Management. He is passionate about urban water challenges like the physical infrastructure and regulations that govern them and their interface with social development. He has previously interned with Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) and attended training programs at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). Abhijit has benefitted from the interdisciplinary approach of the UFP and has leveraged the skill labs to publish an article deliberating infrastructure choices for small towns. He is interested in working in think tanks or organisations that practice research advocacy, where he can contribute towards formulating policy decisions.
Aditi is a writer and reporter who hails from Pune, Maharashtra and is native to Tamil Nadu. She has worked on health, biodiversity and gender with an emphasis on evidence based, empathetic journalism. At the UFP, Aditi gained a wider perspective on labour, public health and ecology in urban India, learning about the past and present state of these issues and developing innovative, multi-disciplinary ways to resolve the challenges. Over the course of the programme, she has honed her research and reporting skills and is keen to exercise them in an organisation that focuses on academic research, consulting or journalism.
Aditiya is from Manipur. His interests range from the transition of rural-urban governance, migration, environmental reporting and conflict studies. His focus is on public policy, specifically visualising theoretical concepts about governance in North East India. The interdisciplinary nature and problem solving exercises in the UFP, along with the skill labs, helped strengthen his research interests. He is keen on working with organisations involved in community building, community resource management and sustainability, in the north-eastern states.
Anuj is an urban and regional planner from Jalandhar, Punjab. His general interest lies in the exclusivity of the urban, specifically urban informality, feminist urbanism, housing and civil rights and spatial inequalities. He was a Fellow (Local Pathway Fellowship) at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network–Youth Initiative (SDSN Youth). In the UFP, he was drawn to the theories and concepts of southern and subaltern urbanism, which have provided a framework for his academic and professional experiences. Currently, he is involved in a project about the nurturing care work of women in the informal sector. He seeks to work in organisations where he can contribute to field-based research on the intersections of his listed interests.
A native of Andhra Pradesh, Anusha spent her formative years in different parts of India. Growing up in diverse socio-cultural contexts inspired her to explore cities through shared life stories, interdependent livelihoods, and civic solidarity. As an architect, she has advanced these perspectives through design and building in contested spaces, which led to a deep interest in informality in urban India. The UFP has allowed her to examine cities through the economic, socio-political, and regulatory lens in relation to (un)planned geographies. Through a wide array of skills, including ethnographic methods, quantitative analysis, and geospatial mapping, the UFP has equipped her to engage with greater complexities in the urban. Building on these endeavours, Anusha is looking to work at the intersections of policy, planning, research, and design to advance the discourse on urban informality and equitable practices for inclusive cities.
Bharatendu is a theatre artist and corporate trainer from Delhi with a background in philosophy. As a corporate trainer, he conducted teacher-training and semi-skill development workshops with NGOs and facilitated soft-skill training to various corporations. As an artist, his experiences in theatre shaped his interest in the urban, specifically how economy, governance, planning interact with an individual’s agency and different social structures. Through the UFP, Bhartendu has added survey design, GIS and UIL (data analysis) to his skill set and has developed interdisciplinary analytical perspectives. He would like to work with consultancy firms engaged in policy analysis or education to practice and build on these skills.
Bindushree has worked in architecture, visual communication, and public policy. With a keen interest in the affective nature of cities, the UFP has helped her understand the intersections of identity, affect, spatial practices, and policy through the skill labs in filmmaking, ethnographic research and primary research methods. Bindu explores themes of belonging and place-making through photography, writing and dance. She is keen to work with organisations that delve into the experiential character of South Asian cities through research and curatorial practice.
Chandanapriya has majored in psychology and minored in history and anthropology. She worked as a summer intern at the National Museum, Delhi and as a research assistant with the food mapping research team at Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts. The UFP has provided her with the avenues to explore urban complexities and frame her enquiries with the intent of practice and application. During the course of the programme, she has also acquired the skills of spatial appreciation, geo-spatial mapping and working with urban data sets. Chandana is keen on working in an organisation that provides opportunities to explore the themes of migration, informality, urban infrastructure, socio-cultural inequalities, and popular culture through the framework of people, place and politics.
A Maharashtrian hailing from Nashik, Darshana seeks to engage with Indian cities through research, collaboration, critique and design. She considers smaller cities to be places of potential and crucial for India’s urban growth. The UFP has strengthened her skills in communication, primary and secondary data collection, analysis and GIS mapping. During the programme, her primary focus was on economy, policy, health and southern urban theory. She looks forward to being part of an organisation that works on urban governance, specifically in aspects of policy, planning and health, focused on tier two cities.
Deepthi Nagappa is a civil and environmental engineer from Bengaluru. She is broadly interested in working on problems of water treatment and pollution control, urban water and social hydrology. Deepthi hopes to pursue collaborative research and broaden the scope of her practice. At the UFP, the courses on methods in primary and secondary research, infrastructure, and services have drawn her attention, while she could build on her past work in the sessions on hydrology, ecology and environmental governance. She hopes to work in an organisation focusing in her areas of interest with components of both fieldwork and data analysis.
Devyani is an architect from Bengaluru who discovered her interest in urban mobility and public transportation during her undergraduate studies and carried it forward with multiple engagements in the city, including ‘Walkable Malleswaram’. She cares about ensuring safe, affordable and comfortable accessibility in the city for all, irrespective of age, ability, income and gender. The UFP has enabled her to identify linkages between spatial planning, governance and financing in the delivery of urban infrastructure like public transport. She now recognises the overlapping jurisdictions of planning and service-delivery bodies, the complex relationship between devolution of powers to municipalities and their financial prowess, and the role of non-state actors in infrastructure delivery. She is keen to work with organisations that engage with urban mobility through lenses such as liveability, community, and equitable access to opportunities and resources.
Jayavartheni, an architect from Chennai with experience in transdisciplinary design practises has explored the themes of urban biodiversity and ecological housing.She has volunteered with the Sacred Groves Ecological Housing Project in Auroville, Puducherry.
Through the UFP, she has developed skills that enabled her to carry out fieldwork based research and translate archives of information, data and observations into propositions through methodical analyses and arguments. She has also acquired methods and the knowledge that different aspects of urban spatiality can be analysed through the lens of policies that shape them. Going forward she is interested in working in an organisation that focuses on policy research in the domains of urban mobility and intersection of climate change and its social dimensions.
Kiran is a Mumbaikar who has a Diploma in Community Based Participatory Research and Advocacy from PUKAR, accredited by TISS. She is deeply interested in working with public policy, governance, development and political consultancy. During her stint at the UFP, she has acquired skills in urban data analysis and advanced gis, among others. Her project on community health has furthered her interest in public health, environment, livelihoods, disaster risk and resilience. The interdisciplinary training at UFP has helped her critically assess and use collaborative approaches to tackle issues at the grassroots level. She intends to work with an organisation conducting research in the same areas.
Mansi, a trained architect from Mumbai, is interested in working at the intersection of design, research and policy. She has developed exhibits and workshops that make complex information accessible to children. At the UFP, she explored the integration of multiple frameworks to understand responses to complex urban issues. She looks forward to working with organisations, research centres or think tanks that communicate laws and policies to their stakeholders and widely disseminate knowledge for action.
Mathews P Joseph
Mathews has substantial experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative research projects for organisations such as ICSSR, the University of Hyderabad and Anthrolabs. Through the UFP, he has developed new perspectives on the urban and has been drawn to studying identity and migration. He is keen to pursue a career in interdisciplinary urban research and looks forward to working with an organisation that will enable him to explore identity, migration and urban anthropology.
Yawar is an architect driven to work for displaced populations and transitional settlements. His work reflects his focus on the development of the built environment through participatory planning, disaster risk reduction, and humanitarian assistance. While at the UFP, he not only added to his existing knowledge, but also acquired the requisite skills to work for vulnerable communities in the development and humanitarian sector in an urban, emergency, and post-disaster context. He seeks to work in an organisation that practises in similar fields.
Muppudathi Muthu G
Muthu hails from Palayamkottai in Tamil Nadu. As part of his final year project, he developed a prototype solution to efficient maintenance of the drainage system for smart cities in India with the help of IoT. During the UFP, his choice of electives helped him articulate the challenges better and find solutions in curbing the issue of manual scavenging. The UFP has also emboldened his ideas about issues in urban health and infrastructure in the context of social inequalities. He is keen to work with an organisation that works in the interface of technology and urban sanitation management.
In her architectural practice, Namrata has explored ways to improve the built environment alongside underserved communities in Mumbai. Through the UFP, she has expanded her skills in framing research enquiries, conducting academic research, and writing. The programme has helped hone her empirical toolset with geospatial mapping and taught her to work with photography and videography. Her interests lie in understanding mobility and environment through the lens of gender and policy. She is keen on joining an organisation that works with communities at these intersections.
Omkar’s academic interest has always been the economic and sociocultural changes within cities. During the UFP, his focus was on understanding how economics and policy work in parallel to shape our cities. The UFP also equipped him with relevant skills in quantitative data analysis and survey design. He hopes to contribute meaningfully to making cities affordable for everyone, ideally while working within the ambit of housing and employment. He wants to continue to build on the knowledge gained here by working in an organisation engaged in urban policy research and market studies.
Parul is from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. She has learned to look beyond the built fabric and has developed a nuanced understanding of urban challenges to appreciate how the different facets of the city interact, especially people, politics and their social identities. Parul intends to work with community based organisations and urban planning agencies to understand town planning processes and development schemes, and the delivery of facilities and services to citizens. She also wants to deepen her understanding of different policy frameworks and their implications by working with development or state authorities.
Pragathi is an independent journalist based in Bengaluru. She has been a contributory reporter with Citizen Matters and an editorial intern with The Hindu. She has written about the intersections of labour, gender and governance.
At the UFP, she garnered skills that allowed her to code interviews, design surveys and analyse data. The programme also equipped her with the right vocabulary through structural texts and transdisciplinary perspectives, which was imperative in studying the ethnographic accounts she gathered during her field visits. She seeks to re-orient herself as a journalist with research sensibilities and is looking to work for organisations that foreground their practice in exploring accessibility through the economics of labour and identity.
Prakhar hails from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. Through his stints with law firms and teaching, Prakhar has consistently engaged with environmental law and energy law.In the UFP, he has developed an interest in urban governance, policy and urban ecology. He is keen on being associated with organisations that work and practice in the environment/energy sector on issues of equity and justice, policy, governance, and sustainability.
Priyanka hails from Ojhar in Nashik, Maharashtra. She is currently pursuing an M.A in Sociology through distance education. She has volunteered with various organisations and movements including VSO Bangladesh and the Narmada Bachao Andolan. Priyanka’s personal and professional experiences have involved living in cities and working in rural and tribal areas while focusing on gender. This shapes her curiosity towards the urban. UFP has honed this perspective, reinforced it with theoretical knowledge and skills, introduced her to new subjects, and motivated her to use her storytelling skills as a research method. She intends to work in an organisation that furthers her experience in gender and research along with a newfound focus on migration and urbanisation.
Roy is an anthropologist from Neyveli, Tamil Nadu. He is interested in understanding urban inequalities through analysis and methodical research. In the UFP, his primary focus was on the themes of migration, informal economy, housing and infrastructure. He is interested in exploring the interplay of practice and policy and wants to build on this by working in an organisation that focuses on field-based research projects with policy implications.
Trained in economics and interdisciplinary social science, Saikat is a researcher with a keen interest in the domain of public policy. He has previously interned in organisations conducting public health research studies and wants to understand financial inclusion and public health in the urban context. In the UFP, he enhanced his research skills with data analysis and visualisation, survey design, mapping, and communications. He is working on a project under the PEAK Urban Health System Research project to develop his understanding of public health and its complexities. He is keen to pursue an internship with an organisation that will enable him to work on a project related to public health and health policy at a global scale.
Sarika has qualified in the UGC NET to be an assistant professor of political science. The interdisciplinary training in the UFP has strongly contributed to her theoretical understanding of the urban. She was able to critically reflect on her past training with learnings from UFP sessions, specifically those on urban governance and migration. This has shaped her ability to engage with the Master Plan and planning process. Urban housing, informal economy, maternal and child health are some areas she aims to pursue in her future work. Her main interest, in addition to teaching, is research. She looks forward to working for an organisation that engages with governance, informality and equity policies.
Shalini is a proud Hyderabadi. Trained as a sociologist and an independent researcher, she aims to locate her work at the intersection of academia and activism. Being a sociology educator and volunteering in activist organisations helped her become a community organiser, facilitator, field based worker and an oral history archivist. At the UFP, she engaged with the themes of identity, labour, qualitative research, urban ecology and planning. She is keen to work in an organisation that will enable her to contribute to research and practice in the above themes along with opportunities for academic research and public writing.
Shivani has lived in Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. The UFP has allowed her to build on her previous training with theoretical knowledge and engage with the themes of space and spatiality, built structures, informality and identity. The sessions focusing on art, culture, built environments, mobility, urban economy and housing appealed to her the most. She aims to work with an organisation that will help her gain insight on people’s interactions with their immediate environments through academic research.
Shravani is from Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. She has interned at Childline and in private law firms. She is drawn to the issues of caste and gender-based discrimination and non-inclusive approaches of public policymaking, which are informed by her experiences of growing up in a small town. She is keen on working with an institution engaging with public policy, identity and labour.
Shripad is from Dharavi, Mumbai. His works document histories of Dalits in Mumbai through literature.
His poems are published in Dalit Art Archive, The White Review, British Council, Manchester Museum. Influenced by various anti-caste traditions, his previous research focused on Continental Philosophy exploring relation between language and space. At the UFP, he was drawn to sessions on labour migration, infectious histories, urban planning and governance, city ecology, and cities and literature. He is keen to pursue a career in research and is looking to work with an organisation focussed on one or more of his listed interests.
Shubra, a Bengaluru architect, has interned with Urbz, Mumbai and worked as a research assistant on the topic of migrants and infrastructures of survival. She has a keen interest in understanding the city through lenses of identity, economy, space, and everyday practice. Through the UFP, she has gained insight on framing her inquiries from larger questions and investigating the method before arriving at an argument. She focused on developing skills in ethnographic field research, data analysis, geospatial mapping, and photography. She is ready to work with organisations that experiment with methods and whose research informs their on-ground practice.
Sushmita is a spatial designer and illustrator from Assam. She has worked on projects of various scales and typologies such as museums, exhibitions, child care facilities and hospitality institutions. She has redesigned a juvenile detention centre in Silchar, Assam as part of her thesis. Through the UFP, Sushmita has expanded her skills to conducting research, framing inquiries, geo-spatial mapping, designing surveys, conducting interviews, coding and data visualisation, among others. Apart from academic work, she is developing an illustrated book for children and teenagers. Sushmita is keen to use her diverse skill sets in contributing to urban policy research, primarily through visual communication strategies, and looks forward to working with an organisation that would enable this.
Lalitha has previously worked at a women’s rights organisation on the issue of waste management and waste pickers. The UFP has given her an interdisciplinary lens to look at issues pertaining to labour, migration, and informality. It has also advanced her abilities in mapping and data analysis and equipped her with the critical skills and approaches required to examine urban policy and politics. She is interested in working at a think tank or a news agency writing on urban politics or continuing to work in the development sector, undertaking research on the relationship between labour, gender, development and environment.
Ujjvala hails from Bengaluru. She has worked as a teaching assistant at the CEPT University and an architectural intern at Abari: Bamboo and Earth Initiative. Her primary interest lies in the formation and production of the built environment in collaborating with organisations that work on interventions in the built form. The UFP approach of integrating fieldwork and theory has helped her in understanding the collective powers and processes that shape urbanisation. She plans to work in an organisation that focuses on collaborative, field based research projects and intends to contribute to formulating relevant policies as well.
Vidyasagar is from Buxar, Bihar and is currently pursuing PhD in Political Science. He aims to engage with social justice issues through the interdisciplinary methods and supporting skills that he acquired during the UFP. Keen on pursuing research, his interest is to study how belonging to a marginal space (like a non-metropolitan city) affects an individual’s everyday learning experiences in higher education institutions. He looks forward to being part of a research institution working at the helm of social and political change and to contributing to policy making.