Both of us grew up in two different small towns in India where space and time were in harmony with each other. As teenagers, both of us had to leave our hometowns in search of better opportunities. Over the next decade we made our homes (separately and together) in various metropolitan regions across the world like Mumbai, New Delhi, and Bengaluru in India, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City in USA, and Singapore. Even as we moved through temporary pin codes, both of us kept our permanent addresses in the small towns of Panchgani and Rishikesh.
In 2009, eight years after we had left our hometowns, our lives converged in Singapore. Even though we came from very different contexts, we connected with our small town roots. We continued to work in Metropolitan regions on public policy issues focused on governance, urban and social policy. However, our worldview was informed and shaped by the realities of our small towns. Increasingly, we found this voice of small cities missing in the larger policy discourse. So we embarked on a journey –
50 Towns. Five Months. Two Seekers. NagarNagar.
One Purpose: To understand Small Town India.
NagarNagar gave us a perspective on the strengths as well as challenges faced by these cities while India rapidly urbanizes. In town after town we noticed a knowledge gap – both in the knowledge coming out of the cities and the knowledge reaching the cities. This manifested in different ways – local governments facing difficulty in accessing funds, gap in information regarding opportunities for youth, data gaps causing misinformed policies and the perception of small cities as data markets.
We had to do something to address the challenges faced by people in our small cities - we incorporated Nagrika as a knowledge based organization to spur action on issues related to small cities. In 2017, we moved to Dehradun, a small city in the Himalayan valley, to continue our work for small cities from a small city. Based in Dehradun, we have been creating knowledge based action with a growing and dynamic team of enthusiastic Nagriks from various sized cities with diverse backgrounds.
Tarun Sharma & Yutika Vora
Garima Ahuja (Summer 2016) has a Masters from Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. She has Bachelor's in Economics (H) from Delhi University.
@Nagrika: Migration in Small Cities; Declining Cities
Prathmesh Jaiprakash Gupta (Summer 2017) is a master's student in Sustainable Systems from University of Michigan, USA. He has a B.Engg Mechanical from Mumbai University.
@Nagrika: Sustainable Development in small and mid-sized cities
Sakshi Hallan (Summer 2016) is a student of Economics at Delhi University.
@Nagrika: India's higher education policy; Benchmarking of ULB level information disclosures across state.
Nayanika Kandula (Jan-May 2018) is a is a student of Economics at Shiv Nadar University.
@Nagrika: Content writing and social media engagement
Manishankar Madishetty (Jan - May 2016) recently completed his Masters in Urban Development and Management from TERI University. He has a B.Tech. in planning from the School of Planning and Architecture, Hyderabad.
@Nagrika: Public Transport Systems
Manas Mutatkar (Summer 2019) is a law student at Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune.
@Nagrika: Citizen Handbook
Irawati Anand (Summer 2019) is Urban Fellow at Indian Institute for Human Settlements. She holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Fergusson College Pune. @Nagrika: Citizen Handbook
Shiva Kumar Gurijala (Jan - May 2016) recently completed his Masters in Urban Development and Management from TERI University. He has a B.Tech. in planning from the School of Planning and Architecture, Hyderabad.
@Nagrika: Road Safety investment patterns
Kritika Jain (Summer 2019) is Urban Fellow at Indian Institute for Human Settlements. She holds a Bachelor’s in Architecture from SRM University, Chennai
@Nagrika: Citizen Handbook
Nisha Koppa (Summer 2016) is a student of Economics at Shiv Nadar University.
@Nagrika: Economic and social institutions in urban villages; Community engagement in Cities
Shikha Matas (Summer 2016) is a Masters student at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. She has Bachelor's in Economics (H) from Delhi University.
@Nagrika: Typology of economic indicators of cities; Urban Development programs in India; City Classification in India
Shreya Ramann (Aug - Dec 2016) has a B.A. LLB. student at National Law University, Delhi.
@Nagrika: Legal aspects of Urban Municipal Structures; Rental Housing Policies;