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Integrating Culture in the Development Process

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The 17th century Sundarwala Mahal under restoration by AKTC using traditional materials, building tools and techniques.
Photo: AKTC / Ratish Nanda
An important lesson arising from AKDN experience has been that there are few area development contexts in which a single institution can have the necessary impact on the quality of life. Rather, a broad spectrum of national and international partners must be engaged in the process of area development. To this end, in a number of settings AKDN has signed Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in order to bring to bear a full package of multi-input, multidisciplinary activities – involving not only AKDN agencies but government institutions and other partners.

“The meaning of ‘quality of life’ extends to the entire ethical and social context in which people live, and not only to their material well-being… Consequently, the Imamat’s is a holistic vision of development, as is prescribed by the faith of Islam.”
Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Opening of Alltex EPZ Limited at Athi River, Kenya, 19 December 2003
In Delhi, an initiative led by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), in partnership with agencies of the Government of India, encompasses a major conservation programme at Humayun’s Mausoleum, a World Heritage Site, as well as Mughal period monuments in the adjacent Sunder Nursery and the densely populated Nizamuddin Basti. The Sunder Nursery, a 70-acre expanse, is being landscaped to emphasise its heritage and ecological signifi cance while enhancing its role as an educational resource.

Begun as a conservation project, the programme now also includes activities in health, education and training, water and sanitation, open-space development and basic infrastructure. A social component has already begun addressing basic health issues by installing new equipment and placing doctors in the Municipal Health Centre. The local primary school is being upgraded to provide a better learning environment and expand access to quality education. At the same time a cultural revival programme focuses on Sufi music, heritage awareness, calligraphy workshops, and documentation and dissemination of historical information by local youth groups. Parks are being landscaped, streets and historic canals are being upgraded and public toilets and sanitation systems are being improved.

Aga Khan Trust for Culture

AKTC Brochure (2007)
Language: English
Size: 4.3 MB

His Highness the Aga Khan Tours Delhi Urban Renewal Project (General News)

Batashewala Mughal Garden Complex in Delhi Restored (Press Release)

Humayun’s Tomb Restoration Inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister and Aga Khan (Press Release)

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