An exhibition on Begum Bazar

Mention Begum Bazar, what crosses your mind? Jostling traffic? Sound pollution? Dusty and a feeling of suffocation?

The constant fight between bovine, pick up trolleys, autos, cars, push carts and two-wheelers make a first-timer shudder at the thought of having to return. But this is also the place to buy everything from bindi to bathroom fittings in the best whole sale price.

What would it be like to live and trade here? Is there any scope for improvement or do the dwellers see no hope or solution? Right of way-right—a citizen’s exhibition about the past, present and future of public space and traffic in Begum Bazar was an attempt to find a solution within the various communities living and dwelling in Begum Bazar. For them if certain issues are addressed, this area will become a better place to live in.

As a part of the Indo-German project called ‘Sustainable Hyderabad’ Tobias Kuttler spent six month talking to people in Begum Bazar. Understanding the problems and looking at a solution from within. As a part of the project, people’s views, experiences with traffic and issues related to their everyday life and work were discussed.

“Once the discussions were done and solutions noted we will be making a representation to the municipal corporation and follow it up with them.

In the course of time when we spoke and met the various associations and community groups we have been suggested with a lot of solutions. The issue isn’t only about traffic, there are issues like fire safety, sanitation, water crisis and issues of garbage disposal,” says Tobias and adds, “Despite the complaints, the residents love this place.”

The exhibition, put up near the stage at Swastik Mirchi in Begum Bazar, has flex posters with suggestions from various communities. Making this a platform of nostalgia, some spoke about the past and took people through a journey of memories to describe what made Begum Bazaar what it is now.

“The present day situation, according to the people is better. A couple of years ago, trucks would pass through the narrow lanes and that would bring life to a standstill. With many representations from the merchants the entry was stopped,” says Tobias.

Even as Tobias and his ‘small’ team sit and wait for more suggestions come in “According to the suggestions given to us, the lane facing this stage should be made one way and the fish market which is in the lane parallel to this, needs immediate attention."