Housing Discrimination Project

The Housing Discrimination Project (HDP) is a three-year empirical research on urban rental housing discrimination in India. The Project uses rigorous ethnographic techniques to record the prevalence of rental housing discrimination, and theorize its mechanisms, modalities and impact. It focuses on discrimination against Muslims with the purpose of also generating tools to analyze the condition of other social groups. HDP aims to intervene in various policy, legal and academic debates, including marginalization of minorities, urban governance, studies in discrimination and exclusion, and socio-economic rights.

HDP has focused on in-depth case studies in Delhi and Mumbai. In its phase I (July 2016—June 2017) in Delhi, the Project mapped the existence, causes, and the systemic character of rental discrimination. It did so by highlighting the specific processes that guide rental access and locating religious discrimination within these existing modes of rental access. The on-going phase II (August 2017—May 2018) addresses the question of access and exclusion in the Delhi rental market. Phase III of the Project will focus on rental discrimination and exclusion in Mumbai.

HDP is a field-research driven interdisciplinary project that has drawn researchers from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, ranging from law, psychology, sociology, human rights, and urban studies.

Phase I of HDP was partly supported by the Peter and Patricia Gruber Fellowship in Global Justice and Women’s Rights (2016-2017) and was based out of the Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi. Phases II and III are supported by the Azim Premji Foundation and are based out of the Centre for Public Interest Law, Jindal Global Law School.

Dr M Mohsin Alam Bhat
Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Law and Executive-Director, Centre for Public Interest Law
Jindal Global Law School

Researchers | Phase I

Senior Research Associate

Gitanjali Prasad

Gitanjali currently works as Program Manager with Hausla—a program focused on interventions to address the needs of the urban homeless—at the Centre for Equity Studies in Delhi. She has previously worked as a researcher, primarily on issues pertaining to legal justice. Her academic training is in psychology and social work, and she is in the process of completing her LL.B.

Research Associate

Annie Baxi

Annie is a doctoral scholar in Psychology and trained Counsellor. She is a part of the Housing Discrimination Project affiliated with Centre for Equity Studies. Her academic interests include gender studies, issues of marginality, mental health and qualitative methods. In her work, she attempts to listen to silent aspects of human experiences and is always keen to hear/read stories of others and narrate her own.

Research Associate

Vaibhav Dutt

Vaibhav is a graduate in law from National Law University, Delhi. He has previously worked on projects to address violations of civil liberties such as custodial torture and death penalty. His research interests are situated at the interface of law and policy, in areas including internet freedom, the criminal justice system, public transport and city planning. When he is not worrying about how the metro is being built in some part of the city, he likes to walk around, cycle, trek and read.

Research Associate

Mohd Aamir Khan

Aamir has been working as a human rights activist with Centre for Equity Studies - Aman Biradari, and on issues of secularism, democracy and women’s rights at ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy) for the past four years. Co-author of ‘Framed as a Terrorist’, he has given many talks on prisoners’ rights, law and justice in schools and colleges across India.

Research Associate

Asaf Ali Lone

Asaf has completed his B.A. (Hons.) in Arabic from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, M.A. in Society and Culture from IIT Gandhinagar, Gujarat and Urban Fellows Programme from IIHS Bangalore. He believes life can neither be contained in boxes nor compartmentalized in structures that define it. If there is an aim and purpose to life, there would have been no chaos and order. Chaos defines our lives and order disturbs it; there is no certainty and uncertainty sustains life. Scribbling his dreams, living his aspirations and failing to do both is what he does in his day-to-day struggle. Asaf’s research interests are urban segregation, marginalities and resistances, men and masculinities, memory, violence and intersectionality.

Intern

Chirayu Jain

Chirayu is currently practicing law at the Delhi High Court. He graduated from National Law School, Bangalore (Batch of 2017). He was associated with the Housing Discrimination Project during the first phase of field research.

Research Associate

Abhinav Gupta

Abhinav is currently found loitering around children who write and tell their own stories, dreams and fantasies. When the children get tired of him, he is found coaxing the trees of Delhi for theirs. And when the sea of stories itself casts him ashore, he is found cooking up pretentious bios for projects he did in his youth, expecting they will get published with minimal editorial interference.

Research Associate

Shajia Sultan

Shajia has completed her graduation from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University. She has an interdisciplinary learning experience in History, Political Science, and Conflict Analysis & Peace-Building. She has done her post-graduation in Human Rights & Duties Education from Jamia Millia Islamia University, during which she also interned with South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC) and researched extensively on the use of pellet guns in Kashmir. She has worked with CES-HDP as a researcher during the course of her Masters degree and is currently involved in the second phase as well. In the future, she aspires to understand Muslim segregation in India.

Intern

Sneha Brigit Zachariah

Sneha is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy from St. Xavier’s college, Mumbai after having completed her Bachelors in Sociology from Jesus and Mary College, New Delhi. She had joined Centre for Equity Studies as an intern for the Housing Discrimination Project as a part of her summer internship. She is also writing her dissertation thesis on the same topic, and her research is based in the Kalina region of Mumbai.

Research Associate

Mashhood Alam Bhat

Mashhood works on the theme of learning environments of disadvantaged learners. He has been associated with J-PAL, NUEPA and Meraki Foundation in research and operational roles. He was associated with the Housing Discrimination Project as a field researcher in early 2017 and was immersed in the Jamia Nagar localities.

Research Associate

Radhika Kannan

Keen to understand the urban through the lens of art, education and medicine, Radhika craves for opportunities to wander. She is currently pursuing an M. Phil. in Sociology from the University of Delhi. She was a researcher with the Housing Discrimination Project in 2017.

Research Associate

Chainita Rawat

Chainita holds a Masters Degree in Modern South Asian History. Born in Delhi, she completed her graduation from Miranda House, University of Delhi in 2013 with a core emphasis on History and Political Science. She joined HDP in September 2016, and was first involved in the pilot run. Later, she conducted ethnographic research with the team in Malviya Nagar and Hauz Rani. She has an active interest in social research with a deep commitment towards issues of discrimination, gender, and the environment. As a lover of history and culture, she loves to travel and explore cultures while indulging in photography. In her spare time, you will find her somewhere between dreams, music, and books.

Researchers | Phase II

Research Associate

Asaf Ali Lone

Asaf has completed his B.A. (Hons.) in Arabic from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, M.A. in Society and Culture from IIT Gandhinagar, Gujarat and Urban Fellows Programme from IIHS Bangalore. He believes life can neither be contained in boxes nor compartmentalized in structures that define it. If there is an aim and purpose to life, there would have been no chaos and order. Chaos defines our lives and order disturbs it; there is no certainty and uncertainty sustains life. Scribbling his dreams, living his aspirations and failing to do both is what he does in his day-to-day struggle. Asaf’s research interests are urban segregation, marginalities and resistances, men and masculinities, memory, violence and intersectionality.

Research Associate

Vandita Khanna

Research Associate

Shajia Sultan

Shajia has completed her graduation from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University. She has an interdisciplinary learning experience in History, Political Science, and Conflict Analysis & Peace-Building. She has done her post-graduation in Human Rights & Duties Education from Jamia Millia Islamia University, during which she also interned with South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre (SAHRDC) and researched extensively on the use of pellet guns in Kashmir. She has worked with CES-HDP as a researcher during the course of her Masters degree and is currently involved in the second phase as well. In the future, she aspires to understand Muslim segregation in India.

Intern

Gulshan Banas

Research Associate

Jayati Narain

Jayati is a sociologist with a Masters from Delhi School of Economics, and an aspiring urban sociologist, having been a part of the Urban Fellows Program from the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, Bangalore. Engaging with the urban over the course of her studies and work through- qualitative and quantitative methods such as, interviews, mapping, data collection and analysis, and occasionally running away from the urban. Through the multiple methods she was worked with, she has found field research to be an ideal method for examining the interaction between people and places to understand modes of place making, although often distracted by animals to be befriended on the field.

Research Associate

Tapinder Singh

Tapinder has finished his Masters in Psychology and enjoys knowing people and himself through their collective engagement and disengagement with each other. He joined the Housing Discrimination Project to learn more about the practical application of what he had studied, research methodologies, and personal baggage.

Intern

Naini Chauhan

Naini is keenly interested in social and economic development sectors, and the progress thus far made in the country, thereby comparing metropolitan cultures with others, which is what led her to our study. Having been a student of humanities through her graduation and post-graduation she faces theoretical contradictions daily, which she attempts to answer with careful moral considerations, hoping to overcome these in the near future.