This project, the brainchild of oral historian Ekta Chauhan, aims to archive the personal histories of residents of Khirki Village in New Delhi. The project is conducted in partnership with The Citizens’ Archive of India. Khirki is an urban village, located in a posh South Delhi area. An urban village, is a rural settlement caught in the process of rapid urbanization. While the village geographically lies within the city’s boundaries, it is excluded from a number of planning and administrative processes and continues to follow traditional social practices. The residents of Khirki trace their origins back to the 13th Century, when the founder of the village, Khoobi, moved to Delhi from Indore and established it. As a result, the entire village functions as a big family even today. Having lived and experienced the city for generations, the residents have some very interesting insights to offer about not just village life and culture but also the evolution of the city of Delhi over the past few decades. “With most of the residents moving away and the village being increasingly occupied by tenants, we are at a risk of losing the valuable memories and legacy of the village and its way of life." - Ekta Chauhan

The jaggery of Khirki

26 January, 2019,    Ekta Chauhan and CAI

Did you know that Khirki Village was famous for its jaggery? So famous in fact, that even Jawaharlal Nehru requested that the villagers make him some, and to do so, he sent them sugarcane. But it was the sugarcane grown in Khirki that made the delicious jaggery everyone coveted. Mr. Kartar Singh Chauhan remembers the incident.
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The villagers in Khirki learn how to swim

15 January, 2020,    Ekta Chauhan and CAI

Mr. Subash Chauhan tells us about why all the villagers had to learn how to swim.
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Mr. Rohtas Chauhan on Republic Day

1 September, 2018,    Ekta Chauhan and CAI

In this memory, Mr. Rohtas Chauhan remembers training students for the Republic Day Parade and getting to meet Rajiv Gandhi afterwards.
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Mr. Kartar Singh drinks tea!

26-Jan-2019,    Ekta Chauhan and CAI

Mr. Kartar Singh tells us of how the British inculcated the habit of drinking tea in India!
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Mrs. Murti Chauhan talks about the facilities in Khirki

13 November 2018,    Ekta Chauhan and CAI

Mrs. Murti Chauhan also tells us about how the men and women of Khirki spent their free time.
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Happy Diwali! Lighting Khirki Village

7 November 2018,    Ekta Chauhan and CAI

Mr. Srichand Chauhan describes how Khirki Village was lit up with oil lamps, and when they finally got electricity.
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Nathu Ram Bhatt on the Chauhans of Khirki Village

3 November 2018,    Ekta Chauhan and CAI

Nathu Ram Bhatt, the village record-keeper, tells Ekta how she came to be called Chauhan, and why it's not really her name.
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