Hunnarshala Foundation with Aabhat and AINA
The Hunnarshala Foundation is an Indian NGO that engages with community empowerment, artisan training, and developing traditional building systems that distinctly utilise earth. The Foundation was established by Sandeep Virmani with colleagues in the wake of the 2001 earthquake in Kutch. Virmani, a trained architect, has lived and worked in Kutch with indigenous communities for over three decades. The Foundation looks to merge innovation with traditional techniques, resulting in resilient and eco-friendly buildings rooted in the local context.
Hunnarshala has also promoted AINA and Aabhat, two next-generation companies that work together to empower communities through design and sustainable construction. Virmani has also set up Sahjeevan, which has enabled marginalised communities to regenerate and conserve ecologies and reinvigorate their livelihoods, including conserving traditional water management systems, wildlife and crop seed conservation, pastoralism and organic farming. Virmani looks to painting, storytelling, yoga and the fascinating world of insects to fuel his forays at work.