Born and brought in the city of Jammu, Aanchal Aggarwal is an architecture graduate. In her academic and professional work, she aims to shift the focus towards marginalised sections of society and the challenges they face. She is keen on exploring transformations that occur in an urban set up in order to contribute more meaningfully.
Born and brought up in Pune, Aarya recently completed her undergraduate degree in Physics from Garware College, Pune. Aarya is an avid admirer of poetry, films and photo journaling. She has worked with ‘Prayas’, an organisation that focuses on sustainable development. She has actively worked to build a new venture which will help connect interested audiences to upcoming Marathi literature. She enjoys listening to stories and often encourages open conversations on topics of homosexuality and sexuality education. Aarya finds her camera lens an inspiring way to connect to the world around her.
Adarsh is a planner who is fascinated with how society as a system works. He hails from Kanpur city and always found the city as a working urban lab to learn social dynamics. As a first-generation graduate, he understands the value of affordable education and wants to work to support marginalised communities. He worked as a consultant with the government of Madhya Pradesh to develop a self-sustaining rural cluster in the Bundelkhand region, which provided him an opportunity to experience grassroot-level work. He believes that digital innovations can be utilised to manage many current world problems and bridge the gap between policymakers and end-users. He is involved with the Netri Foundation, which strives to promote women participation in politics through quality training. Through the IIHS Urban Fellowship programme, he hopes to understand development issues and to develop potential solutions.
Akbar identifies as an artist and designer with a specific passion for spatial design as a means for social change and ecological empowerment. He is at his best as a designer when working with his hands exploring material possibilities, in parallel with authentic community engagement. He worked at Mistry Architects as a Spatial Designer for two years and is also part of a youth activist group Eco Echo placeARTS Collective. Akbar is interested and seeking opportunities to Design inclusive public spaces focusing on elements of sustainable architecture and inclusive design. He is also interested in public policy and he believes better polices are the primary driver to inclusive design and greater impact on communities.
Born and raised in Mumbai, Alefiyah is a driven architect who is passionate about design and social justice. She believes that designers are in a unique position to enable positive change and shape the lives of those that inhabit the built environment. Her approach towards community building strives to be collaborative and relies on sensitive design methodologies.
Her aspirations for her future practice are for it to thrive at the confluence of political, environmental and social-cultural conditions. Instead of solely dedicating herself to designing individual buildings, she hopes to work within the larger themes of the natural environment, economics, policies and technology to ensure a more equitable society.
Aman Kumar Singh
Aman graduated as an electrical engineer, but was influenced by ideas of environmental activism and started working in this field. He has undertaken an internship with the Delhi government and worked in urban development for improving sanitation in slums in New Delhi. His research is focused on decentralised wastewater management systems for eco-friendly treatment of wastewater at very low costs. Aman has also worked with “WINGS”, an NGO that works on education for underprivileged children.
Amba grew up in Delhi NCR and is an architecture graduate from SPA, Delhi. She has volunteered for many social projects which engaged with communities at the grassroots level. In her academic and professional works, she explores urban systems and practices that overlook the strength of local practices and participation. She is motivated to analyse and document everyday patterns that define the collective cultural identity of a city.
Amba is also a graduate in Hindustani vocal music and has organised various cultural events attempting to revive Indian Classical Arts.
Elizabeth Ann Thomas
Elizabeth is a graduate of Economics and Sociology from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. She is keenly interested in issues concerning environmental degradation and climate change, and her work with Worldview Education pivoted her interest into urban sustainability. Elizabeth hopes to understand and manoeuvre through the challenges of the urban landscape, and address some of the often overlooked concerns such as waste management and environmental pollution. She also wishes to explore the feasibility of the cradle to cradle approach and the circular economy, and its scope of implementation in the changing urban setting.
Hemant Appasaheb Landge
Hemant is from Solapur, Maharashtra. He completed his postgraduate degree in Social Work with a specialisation in Rural Development from TISS. His undergraduate dissertation focuses on the socio-economic conditions of construction workers in Pune and attempts to explore the issues of migrant workers in urban spaces. His postgraduate dissertation focuses on the nomadic tribe, Vaidu, and places emphasis on considering different communities and their struggles concerning livelihood, migration, and related issues. Hemant wishes to further explore urban sociology, urban livelihood and urban-rural linkages.
Iwank hails from Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. He has completed his postgraduation in Disaster Management from TISS. Brought up with tribal communitarian values, he has seen rapid exploitation of his community and its ecosystem due to economic development, experiencing changes in cultural practices. He also observed a disconnect between society and its rural counterparts in urban spaces. Iwank is currently focusing on localisation and sustainability led initiatives in both urban and rural areas, so as to increase their resilience by reducing the vulnerabilities many communities are exposed to. He hopes to create an all-inclusive framework for cities that focuses on indigenous knowledge systems as adaptation practices to increase the well-being and resilience of cities.
Juhi has an undergraduate degree in Literary and Cultural Studies from FLAME University, Pune. She has done various courses in sociology which inspired her to explore the concerns of identity and its interaction with migration and the “city” as a dream for emancipation but also a picture of disillusionment. Juhi is also interested in writings on gender, caste, and media studies.
Originally hailing from a small town in North Bengal, Laboni graduated with a degree in Economics from University of Delhi and went on to work with a global bank. She has previously worked across sectors like steel, education and social development. Besides research and finance, she takes great interest in India’s urbanisation and its emerging needs and challenges.
Manavi has completed her undergraduation in Business Administration and is an avid design enthusiast. She has worked in the development sector with ‘Dasra’, a strategic philanthropy firm, in non-profit capacity building and organisation strategy development. Recently she worked as a design researcher blending ethnographic research in rural and urban India and developing related product and brand design solutions. Manavi hopes to learn methods and build skills to apply sustainable design in the creation of self-resilient cities built for intersectionality.
Moomal is an artist whose works tries to enmesh the personal and the political through meditative explorations of forms and material. Her primary medium is the loom and fibre. Through repetitive processes, she tries to build subtle narratives to humanise and reflect, often combined with a body of text. Recently, she has been working on understanding ramifications of political conflict on lakes and how rethinking material in the form of water hyacinth and other hydrophytes can help discern more about cellulose as a biological material for fibre and construction.
Phanisri Soumya Chavali
C Phanisri Soumya is from Hyderabad and has lived in Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Chennai. She has completed her postgraduation in Anthropology from the University of Hyderabad. Soumya has worked as a research assistant in projects sanctioned by Sarva Siksha Abhiyan in tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Inspired by her field experience, she wants to explore fieldwork in urban areas, connections between social identity, urban ecology and urban governance. She would like her work to contribute to the improvement of urban environment.
Pratishtha is a graduate in Economics from University of Delhi. Brought up in Delhi, she has always been interested in how a city inhabited by a diverse populace takes shape, literally and otherwise. She aspires to be a development practitioner with a sound understanding of how challenges of urbanisation can inform policy and vice versa. Having worked with various organisations on a variety of developmental issues including education, agriculture, and women empowerment while pursuing her studies, Pratishtha wants to combine her experience with diverse sectors to develop nuanced, interdisciplinary problem-solving approaches.
Rajasree S Arul
Rajasree is a computer engineer by training. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she was closely engaged with work in Chennai’s slums. The differential impacts of disasters on the rich and the poor of the same city piqued her interest in social science. Rajasree pursued her postgraduate degree in public policy at the University of Bristol, UK. Her dissertation on the impacts of post-disaster displacement of urban slums further nudged her in the direction of urban sector. Later, she interned with WaterAid, London, to analyse the linkages between climate change and sanitation. Rajasree is passionate about research and academia. She plans to pursue a PhD in the future. She is equally intrigued to pursue a cross-disciplinary path involving urban policy, data, and informatics. As an Urban Fellow, she intends to explore the interdependent urban systems with the help of technology and equip herself with transferable research skills.
Rajat hails from Kapurthala, Punjab, and has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a postgraduate degree in Development Studies. His varying interests allowed him to expose himself to diverse courses. His interests range from the questions of certainty and uncertainty of human life to the politics of discourses. His time in higher education has intrigued him to explore the possibilities which the intersectionality of different subjects has to offer in solving real-world problems. Rajat hopes to further explore the broader field of the sociological characteristics of urban spaces.
Ritika was born and brought up in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. She completed her graduation in Chemistry from Jamia Millia Islamia University. Following her interest to study beyond her discipline, she opted for an interdisciplinary course in the domain of environmental studies. Her postgraduate degree is in Ecology and Environment Studies from Nalanda International University, Rajgir. As she got familiar with the myriad dimensions of the environment and found her niche in urban studies, she attempted to study the urbanisation and water economies of Bodh Gaya, a small town in Bihar.
Ritika wants to explore the urbanisation of small towns of India that remain under-studied in urban literature. Her research interests also include water, sanitation, and sustainability.
Rummana has a undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and a postgraduate degree in Museology from Aligarh Muslim University with P.G diploma in Urban Planning and Development.
She has worked with an NGO for the upliftment of urban poor children through education and skill development. She has worked with the National Children’s Museum as a gallery guide. She is interested in learning about urban affairs and planning and mass migration to metro cities. Rummana wishes to develop a sensitive understanding of relationships between place, people, politics, built-form, and ecology, how they function in a wholesome manner, and how to improve it to build a perfect utopia.
Sanjana is a law graduate from Government Law College, Mumbai currently working with a law firm in Mumbai on civil and criminal litigation. While finishing law, she interned with Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) on the matters of legal aid where she was exposed to the social and legal problems faced by informal workers in urban slums.
Born and brought up in the town of Bhandara district in Maharashtra, Sanjana is now a practicing lawyer in a metropolitan region dealing with urban crime. She is interested to learn more about urbanisation, urban issues, and problems faced by slum dwellers. She is also keen to understand caste and gender-based discrimination in urban areas and understand its relationship with urban crime.
Born in Kanpur, Satyam Malaviya completed his postgraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from Jamia Milia Islamia University. He has worked with various think tanks such as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Analysis and Institute for Conflict Management in Delhi. He has also worked as a research associate at Centre for Transparency and Accountability and Governance at National Law University, New Delhi. Satyam has led field research teams in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. He is keenly interested in the field of public policy.
Shaurya graduated in Mathematics from St.Xavier’s College, Mumbai and has worked in Online Advertising Sales at Google. His dissociation from the consumerist approach to Advertising and some internships led him to a Masters in Environment Management at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. There, he engaged with civil society, bureaucrats, researchers and citizens on issues of degrading urban natural resources. He is interested in the reconstruction of historical urban socio-ecological scenarios to assess contemporary urban action situations.
Shaurya hopes to develop tools and skills to research issues related to urbanised/urbanising water commons, socio-environmental history and natural resource management.
Shree Vyshnavi Ramesh
Shree Vyshnavi Ramesh completed her postgraduation in Urban and Regional Planning from School of Planning and Architecture, University of Mysuru, where she also worked as faculty. She was exposed to the intricacies of urban planning both theoretically and practically through various field visits in the course of her degree. She is pursuing a PG diploma in rural development from IGNOU through distance learning. Shree is interested in applied learning and is working with live projects to develop the necessary professional skills to analyse, understand and identify key urban issues. She is keenly interested in tackling pseudo urbanisation, lopsided development and hopes to bridge the rural urban divide in India.
Born in Delhi, Sonam pursued postgraduation in Environment from Nalanda University. With exposure to interdisciplinary research fieldwork on the land of Bihar, her thesis focused on the livelihoods in the heritage city of Bodhgaya. She is interested in further exploring society in different urban spaces, transformations of cities, and the human well-being of people in these spaces from sociological and psychological perspectives. Sonam wishes to acquire good research-based knowledge on building sustainable and resilient cities and to develop critical knowledge in areas like research design, economics, and reshaping cities.
Sreya Ajay is an architecture graduate from TKM College of Engineering, Kollam. She has worked with Recycle Bin, a multidisciplinary design practice. More recently, she has worked in projects on urban issues such as public toilets and waste. Sreya is keen to explore more urban stories to gain a better understanding of the intersections of different exclusions in Indian society.
Surya Prakash completed his postgraduation in Development and Labor Studies from the Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies, JNU, New Delhi in 2019. He has done field-based surveys and data collection work for academic papers in collaboration with the Society for Social and Economic Research. His papers at JNU included works on issues related to informal sector workers and various other issues of marginalisation and informalisation in both rural and urban spaces. Surya has a keen interest in studying the nature and origin of inequality and power and its impact on marginalised sections of the society. He aspires to work towards formulating capable policies to construct a more inclusive and just space.
Vaidehi is an architecture graduate from CEPT University, Ahmedabad. She has worked on diverse scales of urban projects from lake redevelopment to proposals for neighbourhood common plots. Vaidehi feels passionately about working on urbanisation and is also keen on situating and widening her skills as an architect to bring the spheres of concern and intervention closer within the practice of the urban.
Vignesh Shiva Subramaniam M
Vignesh has completed his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has worked in various government projects such as Swatch Survekshan 2020, Pradan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan, Bio-metric I D for Fishers, and the 7th Economic Census. He is interested in people and their relationships with the government as well as struggles owing to social and economic hierarchy. He aspires to reform the conditions of marginalised classes through his work and aims to become a civil servant and policymaker to advocate for their causes.