Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

Humans of Delhi: Dilwalon ki Dilli

ridhima

Ridhima Kumar | January 5, 2017


#Urban Development   #Economy   #Delhi Economy   #Business Centre   #Mumbai   #Delhi  

I came to Delhi from Kanpur in 2003 for higher studies. Since then, I have been here. The city has offered me good job opportunities and a comfortable life. This city was not very different from Uttar Pradesh in terms of language, people and culture, so it was quite easy for me to gel with the city – easier than any other parts of the country. This city felt like a home away from home. I feel quite independent here, away from the protected environment of home. I’ve grown as a person here. I’m even planning to call my family here because medical facilities are better here than at my hometown.


Ritika Srivastava
Producer at a TV news channel




My grandfather started this shop in 1948. There was a time when CP [Connaught Place] used to have 19 bookstores. Now, only eight remain, as this kind of business requires huge investment. Real estate prices are exorbitant in this area. As a result, most people lease out their shops and close their traditional businesses to earn huge sums. I will continue running this bookstore till my last breath. There have been short spells of decline in business, with the advent of video technology and then the internet. But the business always bounced back. People always come to a bookstore to buy a book.


Sanjeev Arora
Owner, Famous Book Store, Connaught Place



Till the 1980s and the early 1990s, Delhi was a quiet city: life was easy, people had time, and the pace of business was slow. Things started to change during the 1990s. The city started expanding and traditional businessmen like me, who had been doing their business from old Delhi for years, got an opportunity to venture outside the walled city. This changed the face of Delhi. From being a laid-back city, Delhi suddenly became hectic and businesses became more competitive. During this time, people from different cities started migrating to Delhi, as the city offered numerous job opportunities. The migration also provided clerical labour to many businessmen.


Kushal Kumar
Retired businessman



This is a city of my ancestors. We have been living here since centuries. I feel very rooted to this place, its soil. For me, Delhi is a city of sufis, of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. I belong here. The city was built over a period of time so it is like a city made up of several cities. Most of the population has come from different places and they have added their tradition and culture to the city. In this way, Delhi is a very accepting and a hospitable city unlike others. Historically, it has been a very open and welcoming city.



Sadia Dehlvi
Author and chronicler of Delhi



My shop has been around since 1935. Business is good here. When metro construction was going on in this area, wholesale business was very much affected. But there was very little, or no setback, to retailers. Life is also easy here. Living in old Delhi gives you a sense of neighbourhood and peace from the hustle and bustle of the main city. I also feel a sense of security here. The food is unbeatable. Though issues like lack of open spaces and greenery do exist, I still like it here. When migration started and people came here in search of jobs, I felt it somewhat diluted our culture. Those who have left old Delhi to live in newer parts of the city are also losing their cultural roots.


Manoj Gupta
Owner, Expert Electric and Radio Co, Chandni Chowk



Delhi is a much better option for people in the textile and fashion industry, like me. The city hosts many international-level fairs and exhibitions which are beneficial for exporters. Even people from other metros come here to participate in such events. I get a lot of exposure here in terms of fashion and latest trends. You name any brand, and its showroom is here. Mumbai is more of a fashion capital for Bollywood. Delhi is more fashion conscious and a forward-looking city. As a woman entrepreneur, I feel safety is certainly an issue here, but over a period of time you learn your way around these issues.


Megha Singhal
Co-founder and creative director, Dexter Apparels

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