"Utter neglect or shoddy maintenance of public places and civic elements is totally unacceptable," says Navtej Johar, managing trustee, Abhyas Trust. As part of the Urban Design Project (UDP) Navtej and his team of experts have been making presentations in schools, colleges and non-profit organizations at regular intervals to draw attention to the general apathy towards maintenance of public spaces. Bearing in mind that the human body is central to the practice of yoga, UDP examines our urban environment from the view point of the human body, of how it relates to the needs, comfort, convenience and safety of the human body. We urge the students and young adults to adopt malfunctioning civic elements in their immediate neighbourhood and document them to build a case study over a period of time. The UDP outreach program with school and college students titled the "Power of Seeing" involves exercises in sustained observation and aim to instill an eye-for-detail in children and young adults and make them more proactive and responsible vis-à-vis their environment. This would help the Abhyas Trust Urban Design Project to present a strong case before the concerned authorities, be it the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Public Works Department or New Delhi Municipal Corporation, thus urging them to take effective action to rectify the problem.

January 28 - February 11, 2008
Bluebells School International students collaborated with Studio Abhyas to mount "Power of Seeing" exhibition in the school.On display was photo-documentation and project work that the students have been doing as part of the urban design project since July 2007.
December 12, 2007
Abhyas Trust took a step towards extending its Power of Seeing project to the colleges by making a presentation at Sri Venkateshwara College on December 12, 2007. The presentation was facilitated by the Social Service Society of the College. Through the presentation, Navtej Johar appealed to the students gathered not to turn a blind eye to the chaos in the cities in terms of the design and maintenance of the civic elements around.

As part of the Abhyas Trust's Urban Design Initiative, Navtej Johar gave a presentation on "Power of Seeing" to initiate a six-month project with class VIII students of Bluebells International School, New Delhi . In his talk, Navtej spoke about the need for keeping an eye on the design and maintenance of civic amenities in and around us to ensure all of it is user friendly. The Abhyas team will be meeting with the students twice a month.

June 5, 2006

On the occasion World Environment Day on June 5, Navtej Johar gave a talk at the India Habitat Centre on urban design or the lack of it in our cities. The talk was attended by the members of IHC and others.

May 2, 2006

Navtej Johar and the Abhyas Ensemble presented "Power of Seeing", yoga-dance performance, followed by multi-media Urban Design Project presentation at a function organized by the Rotary Club, New Delhi.

April 20, 2006

The Abhyas Trust presented a Yoga-Dance performance followed by a multi-media presentation by Navtej Johar on the Urban Design Project at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Center, New Delhi. Union Minister of State for Urban Development Shri Ajay Maken was the chief guest.

March 26, 2006 Navtej Johar made an hour-long presentation on urban design project before a group of 22 children of domestic help and residents of the Chirag Enclave area, Delhi, at the local community centre.


March 16, 2006

Navtej Johar made an Urban Design Project presentation before Class IX and X students of the Vasant Valley, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.


January 11, 2006

Navtej Johar made an Urban Design Project presentation at the Katha Asia International Utsav 2006 being held at the India Habitat Centre in the month of January 2006. The two-hour presentation was attended by a gathering of approximately 70 students and teachers from all over India, with many of them expressing a desire to start such projects in their respective cities.


July 22, 2006

The first in the series of UDP presentations was made by architects, Vidya Tongbram and Vishvesh Viswanathan, of Pradeep Sachdev Design Associates (PSDA), to the children of classes VII and VIII, of St. Mary's School, Safdarjung Enclave. The presentation titled "On Streets" methodically introduced the children to the a various elements that constitute an Indian street, and pointed to what makes our streets as good or as bad as they are today.


July 22, 2006

Architect Pradeep Sachdev, urban designer and architect of Dilli Haat and the Garden of Five Senses, New Delhi, took the sixty children from St. Mary's School (part of the Abhyas Studioís Urban Design Project) on a field trip to Vikas Sadan, where his team of architects have modeled a street factoring all aspects that constitute a street in great detail, i.e. the pavement, parking, signage, bus shelters, etc, as well as keeping in mind the needs of the varied users: pedestrians, hawkers, motorists etc.


July 13, 2006

Abhyas Trustís Urban Design Project was formally launched in the schools in July 2005 by an introduction of the project by Navtej Johar to the students of St. Mary's School, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi.


May 31, 2006

Abhyas Trust in collaboration with the Craft Revival Trust hosted a lecture by architect Sanjay Prakash, titled "Metabolism of the Future City: A Case Study from the Goa 2100 Project, at the India International Centre. With lecture, the Trust launched its Urban Design Initiative.