In a recent column for The Financial Times, ‘How the wedding syndrome could fix India,’ Victor Mallet writes about how the Indian government manages one-off events but not longer-term projects, and cites SAI’s recently- published book on the Kumbh Mela. “It is the same Ganges on whose sandbanks the usually inept Uttar Pradesh government built a fully serviced temporary city for tens…
On Monday, January 18, the Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) launched the book and exhibition Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity in Mumbai at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.
At the Asia Society in New York on November 6, faculty leaders discussed how the Kumbh Mela is an opportunity to learn about megacities, possibly illuminating solutions to natural disasters that require temporary housing.
“They had six weeks to get a city up and running with infrastructure, water supply, and electricity. That was an amazing surprise. But equally surprising was how quickly they dismantled it,” says Rahul Mehrotra, Graduate School of Design, one of the faculty members who will speak about the project at the Asia Society on Nov. 6
“India is no stranger to confusion and that is why the much-talked-of jugaad, muddling through or miraculously rescuing a situation at the last moment is so common. But the Kumbh Mela, according to the Harvard team, was a carefully planned and efficiently executed operation.”
The Jana Swasthya Project has introduced a new mobile health surveillance system to help keep the millions of visitors healthy while they’re at the festival.
On Monday, August 17, SAI launched the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity book and exhibition in Delhi, India. Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Honorable Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, was on hand to launch the book with Harvard faculty, to a crowd of over 250 people.
Read an article from the Harvard Gazette about SAI’s launch of “Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity.”
Read the speech delivered by by Meera Gandhi, SAI Advisory Council member, CEO and Founder of The Giving Back Foundation, who introduced President Drew Faust at the launch of the book Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral Megacity at Harvard University on April 16, 2015.
The potential of mobile technology to change society was examined in an Exploratory Seminar titled ‘Using Cellphones to Change Societies’ hosted by SAI and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study on September 4 and 5, 2014.
The spirit of collaboration and community that made this year’s Kumbh Mela festival so successful was on vivid display at the Kumbh Mela: Mapping the Ephemeral City workshop August 29 and 30, 2013 at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study