A 17-year-old Jaipur school boy, Aarav Gandhi has conceptualized ‘Project Gharana’ and built a fully functional shipping container home as a prototype for affordable housing for the homeless of India. He envisages to build 100 shipping container homes to help rehabilitate over 500 homeless citizens in an affordable and sustainable community. Once the community comes up, the homes will be complete with the basic infrastructure of an elementary school, dispensary, other facilities and low maintenance costs. The community will be a model to adopt in other parts of the country through corporate and local government partnerships. These homes can help eliminate the societal problem of homelessness and adopt environmentally friendly practices (such as responsible disposal of waste and use of recycled materials in construction). Presently, Aarav is looking for partnerships to build more shipping container homes and realise his dream of ‘Project Gharana’.
Talking about ‘Project Gharana’, Aarav said: “From a young age, I have had a strong affinity for architecture and construction, which allowed me to discover the widespread problem of homelessness across India. To begin locally and inspire those around me to enact change, I founded ‘Project Gharana’, a social initiative that aims to provide vulnerable citizens in India sustainable and affordable homes. The process began in September 2021, after I visited my father’s factory and saw an old container converted into a fully functioning office space. I was struck with the idea of utilizing the same principle to build homes. After months of discussions and tireless work, the first container home was readied for a family of four. I hope to replicate this successful model and build a community of container homes in the village of Mahapura near my school.”
Aarav ran a crowdfunding campaign and raised over INR 5,00,000 in 3 weeks for ‘Project Gharana’. He has built his first shipping container home, which runs on 100% renewable energy and utilizes several sustainable materials in its construction. His project has received recognition both in India and abroad. He was a finalist of the Global Social Leaders (Top 5 among 210 global social projects) and invited to speak at the United Nations Global Goals Week. He was nominated as a FEELL changemaker (Top 50 of 1500 students across India), and received an invitation from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, India, for a discussion to replicate such a concept in larger communities.
Additional Information for Padding Aarav Gandhi is a student of Jaipur school, Jayshree Periwal International School (JPIS). Chairperson, JPIS, Dr Jayshree Periwal said: “At JPIS our belief is to always foster a culture of creating meaningful social impact. Aarav Gandhi’s ‘Project Gharana’ is a perfect example of how a 17-year-old not only had the vision to provide homes to millions of homeless citizens but also shows how he has gone a step further and constructed his first home. We at JPIS are extremely proud of him.”