Asif Khan Dehlvi, 24
Founder, Delhi Karavan
Heritage walks are nothing new to a city steeped in history, but Asif Khan Dehlvi’s Delhi Karavan walks and baithaks are a lot more than just strolling around monuments.
“Delhi is a heritage gold mine,” says Khan.
“When I started out in 2013, I thought of doing things differently. In our baithaks, we choose a topic, say Emperor Akbar, and choose a venue that is either related to the topic or located in Old Delhi. I act both as the storyteller and moderator, and we discuss history over tea and snacks,” he says.
Apart from baithaks, Delhi Karavan also holds movie screenings, placing historical films in their context. “I try to connect people to history through my programmes,” says Khan, who also conducts events on Delhi poets (Mirza Ghalib, Daag Dehlvi) and other historical icons.
In the Karavans or walks, the participants meet at a fixed venue before starting the walk and Khan explains the historical background and context of that particular monument. “This is so that people can connect to it during the walk,” he says. “People come as participants and leave as friends,” says Khan, who has organised 75 events so far and involves the regular participants in planning and execution of these programmes.
There are more movie screenings planned for summer 2015 as well as heritage workshops, where Khan hopes to educate people on the urgency of preserving the heritage of Delhi. “They would be informed how society can support the good work being done by INTACH and ASI,” he says.
An average walk costs `300 while a baithak or film event `500 (including snacks, venue rent, other arrangements).
For information on their upcoming events, see Delhi Karavan’s Facebook page or visit their website delhikaravan.com