SAI’s Livelihood Creation project is underway on the ground in India. The research project, supported by the Tata Trusts, aims to build knowledge and capacity around three key areas: rural livelihood creation (emphasis on the handicrafts and handloom sectors); educational, social and economic empowerment of women; and science and technology-based interventions for poverty alleviation.
By Kundan Madireddy, Project Manager and Dr. Shashank Shah, Project Director
Delhi has been India’s capital for several centuries. The British built New Delhi as the capital of India and Old Delhi served as a capital during the rule of the Mughal Dynasty. With the largest population among Indian metros, Delhi houses about 25 million people and is bordered by the state of Haryana on three sides (North, West and South) and Uttar Pradesh on the East. Delhi has been witness to various invasions and struggles for nearly a dozen centuries, right up to the independence struggle from the British colonizers. It is said that Delhi was built and broken down nine times by various invaders. New Delhi is the tenth version of Delhi in about 1,200 years.
Scripturally, the city is considered to be the capital of the Pandavas in the famous Indian epic, Mahabharata, where it is referred to as Indraprastha. Delhi is also a famous tourist attraction due to its many heritage structures and monuments which include the Red Fort (Lal Qila), Old Fort (Purana Qila), Qutub Minar, Iron Pillar, Jama Masjid, Lotus Temple amongst many others. The Swaminarayan Akshardham built on the banks of Yamuna as recently as 2005 was acknowledged as the world’s largest Hindu temple. So Delhi is a historians’ and architecture lovers’ paradise!
Handicrafts are quite popular in Delhi. Crafts from all states find a place here due to a lot of demand from locals and tourists coming from across India and the globe. Even historically, arts and crafts found significant patronage from different rulers and dynasties that ruled Delhi. Each of these flourished and have been bequeathed generation to generation. As part of its field visits to study crafts organizations across India, the Harvard SAI team visited four organizations in Delhi.
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