A day in the life of Lakdi Ka Pul

By Roopkatha Kar

A busy commercial area with lots of people engaging in various activities; big showrooms, hotels, hospitals, eateries, footpaths occupied by street vendors; heavy traffic, pedestrians hurriedly crossing streets, buyers and sellers busy negotiating prices, the giant metro running overhead  – this was Lakdi Ka Pul for me at first sight.  Lakdi Ka Pul was the site chosen for our Winter Institute in the city of Hyderabad. The first day when I visited our site, there was nothing that really struck me about the place. I wondered, isn’t Lakdi Ka Pul just like any other suburb in any other city?

Traffic along NH9

Having visited Charminar early on the same day and seeing the wonderful markets of pearls, jewels, perfumes around it, Lakdi Ka Pul appeared bland in comparison. But as I kept visiting Lakdi Ka Pul each day, striking conversations with old shopkeepers, street vendors, customers, random pedestrians, hearing stories from different people and interacting with Lakdi Ka Pul on a regular basis,  I realized that there is a lot more to this place than meets the eye. 

Our theme for the Winter Institute was ‘Incrementality’. Needless to say, I could hardly spot any structure or activity on my first day that I could call ‘incremental’. But as I started taking a closer look at the built form and people in Lakdi Ka Pul, I realized that the processes of negotiating life and space on a daily basis add up to what can be called ‘Incrementality’. It is all around us, in various forms. As I came across different stories and carefully observed life at Lakdi Ka Pul, I could also realize how a place grows everyday, each hour, and how its mood changes not just over a period of time, but also during the course of a single day. There are certain activities, certain structures that are visible at Lakdi ka Pul only during particular hours of the day, and are gone as their purpose is fulfilled.

Every place has different moods at different hours of the day.

हैअजीबशहरकीज़िंदगी, नसफ़ररहानक़यामहै

कहींकारोबारसीदोपहर, कहींबदमिज़ाजसीशामहै|

-Bashir Badr. 

Karobar si dopahar, badmizaaj si shaam‘ / a busy market-like afternoon, a grumpy, annoying evening. These phrases talk about the mood of a place at different hours of the day. 

Over two weeks, as I visited the site at different hours of the day, I could see the moods of Lakdi Ka Pul change with the clock. The early hours of the day see breakfast stalls lined up along the corners of the streets, and office-goers, shopkeepers, workers gorging on plates of dosas, idlis and vadas. Even before the breakfast stalls arrive, the area in front of the GHMC canteen at the Lakdi Ka Pul chauraha is crowded with daily wage workers every day as early as 5 am. This is a labour adda where labourers gather every morning in search of work.

Along NH 9, in front of Down Town Mall, there is an auto stand which is active only in the morning. Speaking with some of the auto drivers, I understood that there is a tacit agreement between the owners of the shops and the auto drivers. As soon as the shops open in the morning at around 11, the autos vanish. That is how they negotiate space!

At the Lakdi Ka Pul chauraha is the GHMC canteen that serves a full meal for 5 rupees only. The canteen opens everyday at around 12 noon and wraps up by 1:30 pm. The daily wage workers who gather in front of the canteen in the morning, anxiously waiting for someone to hire them or give them some odd job, come back to this same place during the afternoon to feed themselves.  As the sun warms up the air, one can see exhausted faces lining up in front of the canteen. The din of the day only grows by the hour as more vehicles and people appear at Lakdi Ka Pul, trying to negotiate life and space. The pavements are taken up by street vendors who set up their makeshift shops and sell a variety of goods ranging from lemons, coconuts, flowers to sim cards, belts, books.

Along NH 9, there are a number of furniture shops, some of them as old as 40 years. Despite being fined by the police over and over again, these furniture shop owners defiantly display their furniture on the pavement because, “जोदीखताहै, वहबिकताहै”

Furniture shop in NH9

The breakfast stalls start wrapping up by this time, and some of them come back to the same place in the evening. The dosas, vadas and idlis are now replaced with punugulu, mirchi pakoda, aloo bhajiya, samosas, and various other snacks. Workers from the nearby hospitals, hotels and government offices come to these snacks stalls during their evening tea break. A busy market-like afternoon changes into a worn out evening, but the show must go on. As the big showrooms, hotels and eateries light up, intercity buses start appearing along NH 9 and Khairatabad Road.

Vendors selling water bottles and snacks gather around these buses, striving to make a living. Traffic increases, and life at Lakdi Ka Pul continues as buyers and sellers appear in greater numbers. As night grows, the din of the day starts fading; fewer people and  vehicles on the road, shop owners wrapping up. One can see homebound street vendors, a lonely balloon seller sitting on the pavement, counting her day’s earnings. Lakdi Ka Pul calls it a day and awaits another day of karobar.

View of Khairatabad Road from Lakdi Ka Pul Metro Station

Nanakramguda: The Backbone of the Financial District

By Archana Balachandran

Nanakramguda is a village in Hyderabad, neatly tucked into the folds of the Financial District that houses big corporate offices of companies like Amazon, Google, Wipro and Accenture. While the Financial District comprises clean paved roads, buildings with glass windows, thousands of workers wearing ID cards and buses and vehicles that cater to this large working population, Nanakramguda offers a contrasting view. Nanakramguda has houses painted blue with wedding announcements written across its walls, it has roads that are still muddy and unpaved, it has religious structures like a small banyan tree with a Hindu deity resting at its roots and there are small one-stop shops. There are houses within houses and cattle being sheltered inside these houses. Several houses had big verandahs where they dry clothes and the space also acts as a place for social gatherings. These houses are closely knit together and several of them have yellow paint on their door frames, a practice followed by native residents of Telangana. 

While the Financial District flourishes with more companies coming in to set up their offices in Hyderabad, most of the workers here are dependent on Nanakramguda for their daily needs. It is dotted with small shops that sell food and tea and cigarettes. The same shops sell different meals at different times of the day, like idli and dosa in the morning, snacks like punugulu, Mysore bhajji and Osmania biscuits in the evening, and bread omelet in the night. At all times of the day, workers from these companies are seen walking to these shops to get a cup of tea or to have a smoke. A Sunday Shandy, of which a large number of the residents of this village are part, provides the basic utility requirements of the working population of the Financial District. As the staff working at these corporate houses come from all around India, the village seems to be reflecting that diversity with shops and homeopathy clinics advertising themselves in different regional languages. There are several dhabas also in sight. Within the village, there are houses that have boards advertising rooms for rent and there are houses being built solely for the purpose of rental income. 

While a dependence of the workers from the offices on the village of Nanakramguda is clearly visible, it is quite surprising to see that with all the infrastructural transformation that has happened in the Financial District, a similar change is not clearly reflected in the village. Several advertisements for bore wells indicated that there is a water shortage issue being faced by the residents of the village. Waste was also seen accumulating on the roadside which meant that none of the government bodies seem to be taking responsibility for the solid waste management of the village. This is not at all the case when you walk outside the village and towards the roads that run next to the big corporate offices. Further, the high rise buildings have blocked sunlight from falling on the courtyard of several houses in this village. Secondary sources reveal that the village lacks a primary health centre, a community hall or an underground drainage system. While a few underground pipelines were laid out, the work hasn’t been completed due to lack of funds. Several of the damaged street lines remain in a state of disrepair, again, due to the lack of funds. The demand for a community hall has been a long standing one since the residents are unable to afford to conduct weddings and other social gatherings outside in the city.

This co-existence of a village within a city that seems to be ever growing raises questions about the transition of a place from a formal to an informal space, and whether or not it necessarily leads to improved quality in different aspects of the lives of the people involved in it. The loss of the space owned by a temple, which until last year hosted an annual mela, comes as a disappointment to the residents of Nanakramguda who used to visit the mela. Until the IT boom, this 400 year old temple, Sri Ranganatha Swami temple, used to be the only claim to fame for Nanakramguda. A baobab tree that is easily over 500 years old stands tall near the temple. However, the careless dumping of construction material has wounded its trunk. Is this an erasure of the cultural history of Nanakramguda or is it merely  part of the cultural transformation that is characteristic of all kinds of change? While answers to this may require time and patience, I think the larger question to think about here is: While the village works through day and night, sustaining the big corporations, what are these big corporations giving back to Nanakramguda?

Winter Institute 2019 – Incrementalism and the changing city

Students of Masters in Urban Policy and Governance, Archana Balachandran, Milan Sharma, Roopkatha Kar, and Vipul Kumar.

How do cities grow and change over time? How do people create neighbourhoods and memories of place? How do the constantly shifting city – new buildings, new roads, new parks, demolition of old buildings, affect how people live their lives and make meaning of their place in the city? These were some questions that students of the Masters program in Urban Policy and Governance at TISS Mumbai sought to pursue in this year’s edition of the Winter Institute, a fortnight long fieldwork based research study in the city of Hyderabad. The study was organised in collaboration with the Hyderabad Urban Lab (HUL) – a Hyderabad-based research organization that studies the challenges of contemporary urbanization. The theme of Winter Institute 2019 is Incrementalism as a strategy of urbanisation. In recent years, incrementality has become a powerful idea to understand the city as a complex and continually changing system where people, particularly the poor and the marginal, exercise their agency in gradually making their habitat – whether it is growing and diversifying their small informal businesses, or building and extending infrastructures and their homes in the city, or in consolidating their identities and community through layers of documentation and creating associational life. Students explored this and examined the relevance of the concept, the limits of incrementalism, and challenge the idea the incrementalism reinforces status quo. The goal was to see how the presence of large numbers of people in the urban arena is anchored in social and material practices that are difficult to capture in terms of formal politics. The field site was Lakdi Ka Pul – one of the oldest, diverse and dynamic suburbs of Hyderabad. The 3 credit course is central to the pedagogy of the program and offers students a practice aligned approach to understanding urban processes and transformations. The course is designed to introduce students to field work and encourage them to adopt participatory, interactive and creative research approaches. Here we bring to you some of the reflections from the field work by our students through a series of blog posts. These blogs highlight the processes of knowing and writing the city – and sharing knowledge about the urban that is informed by a deep understanding of everyday lives and practices.

Art of the Matter: Merging Theory, Research and Art

“Hyderabad unlike other big cities defines itself through the uniqueness of her streets. It is the streets that have an identity that they communicate to the onlooker. But to the ones who live on these streets life can be less than nostalgic. They may carry the street with them in the form of a gunny bag hanging to their shoulders.”
— Prakash Kona, Streets that Smell of Dying Roses


Art Matter 1
A Sample Transect Map of Gudimalkapur Market


The Winter Institute is a full-fledged three credit course in the academic calendar of Masters of Urban Policy and Governance at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. It is a space for interdisciplinary and collaborative learning through research, and action through field immersion. In 2018, from October 6 to 17, a group of 24 students and a few faculty members, traveled to Ameerpeth and Medhipatnam, Hyderabad. The aim of this course was to engage with the question of employment. More specifically, to understand how youth from marginalised localities in the city engage with work and the work sphere. As part of it’s tradition, students share their experiences and insights through a series of blogs , published on the department website. This is the final post in this series.

The Winter Institute was held in collaboration with the Hyderabad Urban Lab (HUL), a research organization that studies the challenges of contemporary urbanization. Together, the faculty from the Centre of Urban Policy and Governance and staff of HUL conceptualized the theme of the study, narrowed down the research sites, and further guided students through the process.

Apart from writing the blog posts where they reflected on their research methods and findings, students also shared invaluable insights taken from the field through innovative methods. One of these visual methods involved creating postcards that reflected the process of fieldwork. These alternative methods helped students to freely articulate experiences and paved the way for new forms of field research methods.The students were divided into five groups, each encouraged to use a unique field strategy to discuss field research. Anandita Sikka created a series of field images narrating interview scenes with flower sellers, municipal body leaders, and other stakeholders from Gudimalkapur market. These visuals portrayed the narratives acquired from their research and illuminated the underlying presence of authority figures and the versatility of flower sellers in adapting to changes in the market space.

Art Matter 2
Inter-sectional Postcard

The images compiled and created by students supplemented photographic evidence and helped to visualize complex ethnographic research ideas and intersectionalities. The flexibility of field research tools are often not understood from structured reports and case studies. Structured reports can condense rich in-depth data, but often miss several nuances. These visual tools provide an interactive medium for representing data. Ultimately, it brings flexibility in understanding qualitative research data.

Another unconventional method adopted by one of the student groups was to create a series of calendars showing biographical information on some of the interviews and mapped street locations. This effort to convert in-depth data into simpler-to-read and engaging formats is one of the reasons why alternative methods maybe a viable option for future research.

Art Matter 3
Multipurpose Calendar: Goutham and his group discuss how to integrate space and place in their field data

In another instance, rough transect maps were created to make easy translations of geographical locations, marking only those parts which were essential for students. The transect map (as shown in Figure 4) provide readers with a write up about Gudimalkapur Flower Market and guides them through the roads and houses encountered during fieldwork. This layout along with its descriptions makes it possible to visualize several experiences from the field. Devashree Ragde also drew a transect map to delineate the basic stakeholders present from her fieldwork.

Art Matter 4
Student Impression (Made by Devashree Ragde)

Perhaps one of the most prominent moments during the Winter Institute came through post-fieldwork presentations. Students laid out their major fieldwork themes and correlations into comprehensive presentations, diagrams, and model set ups. A few of these samples are represented below:

Art Matter 5
The IT Crowd (Prema and teammates)

Art Matter 6
Typical store placements (Goutham and teammates)

It is difficult to slot these narratives and visualization under any one fixed cluster of research. They are interdisciplinary, in-depth, and represent constant field interactions and changing dynamics. Unlike quantitative research tools which are goal-oriented, the research shown here are examples of how process-oriented methods allow students to understand the nuances in the field. It is practiced through mapping the everyday realities and difficulties faced by residents and workers. These mapping exercises are not meant to be perfect or absolute. Rather, these are tools designed to guide students in their personal research goals. By learning about the history, diversity, and local functionality in markets like Ameerpet and Mehdipatnam, the students taking part in the Winter Institute were able to understand the different complexities in these localities. This is emblematic of how field-oriented research is taught and practiced at the Centre for Urban Policy and Governance. Hyderabad Urban Lab facilitated and highlighted the need for innovative field practices and tools for quality ethnographic research. These larger-than-life stories shared by students may be incomplete, but they are the bedrock of urban adaptability. The Winter Institute has broadened avenues for students to conduct and communicate their research ideas via a diverse set of methods, and reach beyond academia and its peers.


The Winter Institute is a full-fledged 3 credit course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies conducted in the first year. It is conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary collaborative learning through research and action in the field. The blog series showcases the work, reflections and opinions of the students, and not the Centre.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

Hyderabad: A City of Hope, Colour and Dreams

By Sana Asif Ahmad 


Our 12 days in Hyderabad helped us discover the colours of this city beyond the famous tourist attractions of pearls, biryani, IT city or the Charminar. We were here for our Winter Institute, a two-week fieldwork based module organized as a part of the Master’s in Urban Policy and Governance. The steep and rolling landscape of the city was covered in vivid colors of the Bathukamma festival, floral festival celebrated predominantly by the women of Telangana, as streets were lined with women selling the most fascinating combination of flowers. As we interacted with people on the streets I understood Zehra Banu’s secret tip for the ‘zaika’ of the biryani, the diversity of flavors that is present in just a single bite.

The significance of the City of Nizam as an aspirational capital was very striking as many people travelled to make it big in Hyderabad. These dreams came from a variety of people — from a coconut seller, tailor, a student. But the idea of a woman present in public spaces was still contested. “How can women roam on the streets, Ma’am? They will be spoiled!”  says Shamim Bibi, a mother of two. Yet, I managed to meet the likes of Lata and Ayesha at a skill-training centre in Rasoolpura, who eyed a bright future.

Mohd Bhai complained about his social life as he regretted coming back from his 8-year-long stint in the Gulf because of family responsibilities. “What are dreams? Today I dream of one thing, tomorrow another” he said in a resentful tone as he cleaned his workstation at a makeshift electrical repair shop in Ameerpet. He complains that coming back to Hyderabad brings so many social responsibilities from attending funerals to marriages unlike in Gulf where one has only job duties to meet. 

Both Rasoolpura and Ameerpet are hubs for informal livelihoods. Many we spoke to there had either dropped out of education due to some constraints or due to lack of faith in the education system. Utterances like “Even if we become graduates, we wont earn as much. Why spend money? Anyway we weren’t interested.” Were common.

Most women we spoke to mentioned how girls were married-off early. On asking a young 17-year-old Sheeba, shyly explained how she was also getting married in a month’s time while her brother, now a delivery boy for a food delivery service, averted questions by looking busy on his phone as he sat with pride on his delivery bike. The men came across as more accustomed to earning before deciding to settle down, but even here not everyone had a college degree. Even the aspirations that we witnessed in Ameerpet, a more work dominated setup saw men more inclined to make it big through experience and skills rather than education.

The underlying theme recurrent in Hyderabad’s city life was dominated by communal amity. Rasoolpura as a residential setting saw occurrences of varied belief institutions with temples, mosques and churches almost crisscrossing pathways. This played an important role is securing open and safe workspaces for all and also attracting migrants from as far as Uttar Pradesh like the “Maggam” (Zardozi embroidery) workers.

The most positive part of the city of Hyderabad was its inclusiveness for all variants of dreams. The city could make space for the information technology boom led growth and lifestyles along with smaller scale ambitions residing in the alleys of Ameerpet. They nurtured simple urges to find space on the upscale marketplace of Banjara hills or just to ensure that their kids don’t end up with similar struggles of life. Stories of a coconut seller and a migrant working at a glass fitting shop reaffirmed my understanding of this city for its open opportunities of social mobility.

Our trip to discover the aspects of work life and the city along with its hidden implications helped us understand how intertwined the two are with each other. The social life and aspirations of Hyderabad value every individual and their place on the street. It enlightened me about the levels of commercial understanding possessed by these people deriving their livelihood from the streets. Bhanu explains, “A corner is the best location, the public walks in from both ends”, as I saw him deftly roll the Puris on a small portable stool. Similar is their judgement about customer behavior as Bhanu asked me to come after 12pm when the office going crowd is gone and he could make time for my queries.

Our visit to Hyderabad was an enthralling experience for its learning outcomes and for the beautiful exposure to the spirit of work life that the city possesses. Hyderabad’s work life covers a huge spectrum of diversity from the opportunities of work ranging from street vendors, tailors, food stalls to food delivery boys and sales women. The range of the aspirations are not limited by any national boundary as the advertisement board on a high rise, right outside the entrance to Rasoolpura reads ‘Migrate to Canada’.

My little encounters with Bharthi a sales woman, Gayatri the shy girl employed at the coffee shop, Md Abdullah the key maker or Ahmad bhai running the alteration shop – all displayed the pride they derive from their work. It is their lives that helped me recalibrate my views on the work that is sustained on the streets of our cities as they strive with their skills and honor to ensure that there remains a hope for a better tomorrow.

A Poem

Across the road have you noticed that man, woman or child?

Whose effort to catch your attention makes him go wild;

“Three for two”, “Aadhe daam par saheb”, “Free Free Free”, the noises that make you go sick,

No fancy hoardings, no designer shops, they rather have encroaching spaces doing the trick;

He can be a migrant, a slum-dweller or just semi-skilled,

But in your rough city, he still manages to survive with his strong will;

No dearth of passion, aspirations and Banjara hill dreams,

You ask him just a question and hear his desires scream;

The woman there, peeping from her shop’s end,

Has strong signals of independent aspirations to send;

Ask her about her struggles to survive the men dominated stares,

Bearing the scorching sun, the pouring rains and even the Municipal scares;

Yet they come out with pride, living life each day,

As we see them, yet not notice, in our life’s way.


The Winter Institute is a full-fledged 3 credit course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies conducted in the first year. It is conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary collaborative learning through research and action in the field. The blog series showcases the work, reflections and opinions of the students, and not the Centre.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

The Struggle for Work: Aspirations and Ambition in the Lanes of Hyderabad’s Mehedipatnam

By Goutham Raj KJ

Mehdipatnam is a very dynamic space that resembles the characteristics of Hyderabad at an area level. The market of Mehdipatnam has a non-linear progression in its formal and informal sectors, both competing with each other in terms of growth and expansion. The Mehdipatnam market consists of an IT coaching and skill development belt, commercial complexes, recreational spaces, institutions, a flower market, a vegetable market, Rythu bazaar and street vendors all around these spaces.

It has varied economic activities and diverse population groups — Mehdipatnam resembles a mini Hyderabad. Just like Hyderabad, Mehdipatnam is also famous for its IT coaching and skill development sector attracting young and mid-career professionals from India and abroad (specially from African countries). It also functions as a major market destination for nearby regions’ agricultural produce through its multiple markets such as Gudimalkapur flower market, Rythu Bazaar, Gudimalkapur wholesale market, Gudimalkapur retail market and Street vendors in Gudimalkapur.

Goutham 5
A virtual map highlighting the boundaries of Medhipatnam

The location of Mehdipatnam markets and institutions signify that the area closer to bus stop, parallel to Old Bombay flyover is concentrated with IT coaching, educational institutions,skill development centers and other allied are majorly categorized under the formal sector. The markets that sell agricultural produce and its allied activities are concentrated on the other end of Mehdipatnam because of which the northern part is perceived as formal and tech-advanced and the southern part as informal and highly congested.

The map shows the area in blue patch is concentrated with skill development and IT coaching centers while the greenish patch signifies the concentration of markets with agriculture and allied activities produce.

Goutham 6


Gateway and Destination

Mehdipatnam is a dynamic space attracting youth from all parts of the country with its diverse sectors to provide desired services to the youth. Many students at IT coaching institutes are mid-career professionals from Telugu states and beyond.

Goutham 7
Instructions for typing, as observed in a few IT cafes and hubs

Some of them are from different African countries coming all over the way to Hyderabad to learn market desired upgraded and new coding languages and programming at cheaper costs and certified quality programs. Most of them are also recent graduates and young professionals. Most of them are not interested in working in India after their coaching. A large chunk wants to work abroad for better a pay scale and high standard of living. Therefore IT coaching and skill development belt with its other allied activities like travel and tour industry, and legal consultancies are creating this part as a gateway to move abroad.

Goutham 14
A transect map with various market typologies

The Gudimalkapur area with its agricultural and allied markets is attracting and absorbing large number of laborers from the city and hinterlands of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, north eastern part of Karnataka and Marathwada. These are mostly young men coming from villages and small towns because of agricultural decay, unequal resource distribution at area level (lacking farm land or other properties) and widespread poverty. These men work in petty jobs that are largely non-entrepreneurial in nature. For these men Gudimalkapur is a destination that provides them employment with better payment and livable conditions.


Goutham 8


Youth’s role and degree of presence in the market

The dynamics of ownership and employment of youth in Mehdipatnam is as varied as its spatial dynamism. Most of the youth in the IT coaching and skill development belt are present in the form of students and very few are working as trainers and faculty. The age demography of the students seeking training and coaching in this belt is very varied ranging from 14 to 45 years. School students of VII-VIII standards are also utilizing the services provided in these institutes. There is no visible ownership of the youth in this part of the Mehdipatnam. Also, while enquiring about the ownership of these spaces and centers most of the people vocally asserted on the absence of youth ownership.

On the other end of the Mehdipatnam, the Gudimalkapur absorbs large chunk of youth as helpers, cleaners, sellers, street vendors, carriers and garland makers.

These are mostly migrant laborers from far off distances. They start their jobs with low payment and it steadily increases with the seniority. Also, there is a hierarchy in these markets in the form of promotions beginning from helpers and carriers to sellers/street vendors to garland makers. To understand the employment pattern in the markets, following flow chart of flower market illustration will help.


Goutham 13
A concept tree with different forms of youth employment

Street vending is the only profession in which the presence of youth ownership is relatively high in comparison to other spaces. Youth lack resources and capital to own a proper business in the formal sector. They are largely working in the informal sector as supporting staff. Some of these supporting staff has finished their graduation in professional courses. Most of the street vendors are around the gates of flower and vegetable markets from which they collect their supply. The youth are not able to own a space inside the market area due to low social capital, poor contacts, social identity and lack of capital to invest. Therefore, the youth in Mehdipatnam is stuck to petty supporting jobs and lacks ownership in the markets.


Youth in Mehdipatnam are drawn from faraway places to seek work. Like discussed in the above sections Mehdipatnam has two different zones largely perceived as formal and informal. The study found that youth with equal level of educational qualifications are engaged in both the spaces as workers and students. We found that who does what; to study or work; and where; is largely influenced by the social capital of the individual. We found the influence of caste, religion, gender, region and age in the narratives of the workers in both the spaces despite their educational qualifications and working capabilities. The ownership of the youth is ubiquitously absent in both the spaces revealing the fact that our markets are not yet student and youth friendly to be entrepreneurial.


The Winter Institute is a full-fledged 3 credit course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies conducted in the first year. It is conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary collaborative learning through research and action in the field. The blog series showcases the work, reflections and opinions of the students, and not the Centre.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html

Ameerpet: A Neighbourhood on the Move

By Akash Baral 

Video Title: The United Streets of Ameerpet

It was exciting to travel from the busy suburban streets of Mumbai to Ameerpet, an IT Hub where students and professionals come to update and improve their skills set to further climb up the innumerable steps of corporate ladder. The hustle bustle in Ameerpet made me realize that this street never sleeps, there is always some kind of activity going on no matter what time of the day. The day starts at 6 am early morning with GHMC Sweepers sweeping the road in a very organised manner. Soon after as the sun comes up, hunger brings people to the vending stalls for an early breakfast. The vendors could be found popularly serving punugulu, bonda, medu vada, and idli with allam and coconut chutney. Some of these vendors sell all their food and close down by noon. The vehicles start crowding the road and the traffic starts to show up by 11am . Eleven in the morning to 1pm and early evening are the busiest times.

I decided to capture the busy streets of Ameerpet because the crowds, the chaos and the constant movement fascinated me. Sitting with a tripod in a moving crowd is something I was very inexperienced with but somehow I got through it. While shooting the timelapse people always seemed to be fascinated with what I was filming and for what purpose which I gladly explained. I kept them interested after I explained the reason. Interestingly enough a majority of people who came up to me asked about the project and had a wide variety of suggestions, but nobody happened to object somehow which was unexpected to me.



The Winter Institute is a full-fledged 3 credit course in the academic calendar of the Masters in Urban Policy and Governance program of the School of Habitat Studies conducted in the first year. It is conceived as a platform for interdisciplinary collaborative learning through research and action in the field. The blog series showcases the work, reflections and opinions of the students, and not the Centre.

To see institute reports from previous batches visit our website: http://urk.tiss.edu/winter-institute.html