“niiti”, a Sanskrit word means, in different contexts, policy, ethics, tenets. To us, who belong here, it is our raison d’etre, our touchstone. So we constantly turn to our ethics and tenets when we re-examine the basis of what we do and how we do it over and over again. This is our space to engage with our core, with you, our readers and companions on the path towards an equitable society in the deepest meaning of the word. Over the past years, there are several social issues and organisations that we have engaged with and been enriched with both experience and knowledge along the way. We believe that in creating a conversation platform for those engaged in the field, including some of our clients, partners, all of you out there who have reached this site wanting to be the change and others who have expertise to comment and critique, we can actually crowd-source actions and solutions for some of our most pressing social issues.

Some of these stories feature organisations and people who have been the change; others highlight innovative approaches to long-entrenched social issues; yet others point to ways in which change can be facilitated, simply. If you are inspired by them as well and motivated to replicate their work, or want to share inputs on other bright examples like these, do write to us at

This is your platform. Feel free to contribute, critique, and most importantly, converse.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Owning a city

I have loved Mumbai from the moment I knew it. I loved it from Bambai to Bombay to Mumbai. I grew up all across the city and if you know Mumbai, you’d know that it is no mean feat.

The entire city belonged to me as I could navigate from north to south, mouth bus numbers and train timings. I knew it like the back of my hand. I knew its secrets. As the city expanded, my expertise decreased, secrets were not secrets anymore and I recognized the city in pockets. If you ask me how well I know my city now, I would perhaps cite in details only the area in which I live.

I grew up cycling on the roads of Mumbai. There was space for me as I used my pudgy legs to drive up the slopes of the suburbs. Now, there is none. I yearn to find myself a spot to stand where I would go untouched and unrushed. Cities and their characters change over time and the biggest and the mightiest of cities have such a tumultuous history. Globalization has done us many goods but in the process we have lost our localized selves to our globalized ones. How dedicated are we at working towards local problems. How effective are local management models in a generation where most of our leaders only understand virtual communities. Also, is the theory of local management applicable in a time where rural-urban migration is at the highest? How can one expect someone to feel instantly rooted and responsible in a city where he has arrived solely to survive?

May be it is time to reinvent the wheels. Educate a new generation of individuals with insight of the new problems of our day. Starting with the bigger question – who’s Mumbai is it anyway?

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