About the fellowship
People’s Resource Centre (PRC), an independent research organisation based in Delhi, is conducting research on infrastructure development on riverbanks in Indian cities, with a particular focus on riverfront development projects. These projects focus on transforming riverbanks into recreational spaces with an aim to ‘beautify’ cities.
Many of these projects are inspired by the purported success of the Sabarmati Riverfront Development project in Ahmedabad. This has attracted the attention of the political class and the corporate elite in other parts of India which has led to strong interest in getting government and corporate control over the management of riverbanks and adjacent urban resources. All major cities situated on the banks of a river are now planning for or developing riverfronts on the urban stretches of the rivers.
Since these projects are planned for large scale destruction, concretisation and commercialisation of floodplains, it seems plausible that these projects will have a significant bearing on not just the health of our rivers which are already struggling against the degradation caused by capitalist urbanisation but also on the communities inhabiting urban river ecosystems. Contrary to their claims, these projects may further deteriorate the relationship between city and river and exacerbate the urban population’s vulnerabilities to flood, climate crisis, food security and loss of livelihood.
Though the tragic death of rivers in India is a well-researched subject and has been on the central agenda of people’s movements and environmental activism, not enough attention has been paid to the impact of developmental interventions in urban and peri-urban parts of rivers. In this context, this fellowship will involve the case study of infrastructure development on rivers in Indian cities which are either in the construction phase or being planned.
Description of work
The three months-long fellowship will start on July 1. Fellows are expected to conduct field research, secondary research and documentation in their respective cities (specified in the next section) which can involve conducting interviews with communities impacted by the developments on urban rivers, planners, social activists, political representatives and academicians who can share critical insights on the subject.
For each city, the key deliverables at the end of the fellowship program would be a publication-ready, detailed report with relevant and good-quality photographs of the site.
Applicants can follow their own research schedule but must coordinate closely with the PRC team.
Case study locations are: Varanasi, Jaipur, Vadodara, Surat, Indore, Pune, Mumbai
Who can apply
We are looking for freelance writers and researchers with demonstrated ability to work on urban development issues.
Applicants should have their own place of stay in any of these cities and should be willing to travel to urban and peri-urban areas adjacent to the river(s) in their city. Applicants who are local residents of any of these cities will be given preference.
Applicants should show a keen interest in the issues of urban sustainability, infrastructure, ecology and alternatives.
Applicants are expected to have demonstrated proficiency in conducting fieldwork, interviews, report writing (in Word) and photography. Knowledge of design tools such as Adobe Photoshop, and geo-mapping tools such as ArcGIS will be advantageous.
Each fellow will be awarded an overall fellowship of INR Thirty Thousand. A limited amount of travel expenses related to the research for the fellowship will be reimbursed. Remuneration will be in multiple instalments on a pro-rata basis linked with the delivery of pre-agreed interim outputs.
How to apply
Interested applicants are requested to send their résumé and portfolio of their previous works in the development sector or on issues related to cities, river, the environment and the dispossession of communities. Please email the relevant documents to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Application for Urban River Study’ in the subject field by June 25.
In your email, please also write about the city you are interested in and why you would like to conduct this research in the particular city.
Note: People’s Resource Centre is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based on gender, caste, religion, ethnicity, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, or sexual orientation. We are committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace where our differences broaden our understanding and enrich our experiences.
About People’s Resource Centre
People’s Resource Centre (PRC) intends to build conditions and infrastructures so that a fairer, better system emerges from the existing one. Apart from conducting action-oriented research and community-level interventions, PRC publishes resource material on the politics of resource appropriation. PRC is also working towards republishing a series of forgotten/less-known texts of relevance to contemporary movements. A forum to create community resources for social transformation and to build perspectives and alternatives.
For more information, please email us at email@example.com.
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