Sarai House

SARAI, a platform for artists, documentarists, practitioners and writers, is a programme developed by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi an independent research Centre for social studies and humanities.

A group of people containing Ravi S. Vasudevan, Ravi Sundaram and many media practitioners, artists, writers and documentarists belong to the Raqs Media Collective developed this programe. The main aim of this programme is to collaborate between various sectors of people who are actively engaged in the cultural and urban spaces of South Asia.

To attain their aim, they deal with media research and the urban experiences in South Asia. The areas they cover are history, politics, architecture, environment, cinema, digital culture, contemporary art, free and open source software.

Meaning of caravan sarai or sarai refers to Indian and Central Asian languages and the various types of shelters for the travelers enabling and encouraging healthy exchange of history and culture by way of sharing experiences, stories, ideas and concepts. Together they produce very useful and innovative content actively supporting student participation.

Sarai Activities

Annual research fellowships are available in Sarai. From 2003, they are awarding CSDS Fellowship programmes. Four numbers of Ph.D. Fellowships sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research are provided by CSDS. They will take two to three years on an average to complete.

Other Activities

  • Knowledge and opinion sharing all across the world
  • Supporting open source and free software
  • Contribute to localization of software in Indian languages
  • Publishing books and magazines
  • Producing Sarai Reader series in Hindi and English
  • Active collaboration with foreign organizations
  • Establishing media laboratory networks known as ‘Cybermohalla’ among the working class neighborhood in Delhi.

Outcome of Sarai

The impact created by Sarai in India is very significant. Due to the constant efforts of Sarai, a new type of inter-disciplinary practice has come into existence. Many research programmes and fellowships of independent nature came into practice. They are more seriously committed to the free, libre and open source software [FLOSS] has been accepted widely since it is the only available alternative to cultural production.  


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