Swati Negi

Freeing the Spirit

A multitalented Swati embarks on a unique journey towards social welfare to put her talents to good use.

Architect, mason, biker, outdoor explorer. In search of an alternative way of life which thrives in harmony with nature, I began my journey 5 years back in Auroville, as an earth builder. For two and a half years I allowed my thoughts to wander through untrodden trails of the landscape of my mind. A constant interrogation into the meaning of life and our impact on the physical realm.

Certain life choices were made during that chrysalis period in Auroville. To live a conscientious life which is not purely self-serving. To assume responsibility of being a part of a bigger picture and striving for the betterment of the collective through any means possible.

My journey took me to the higher Himalayas where I worked as an architect, specialising in earth buildings. By the time I finished building a community centre in Spiti, I was in love with the mountains. I continued working in Himachal, Uttrakhand, Ladakh and Nepal. Some times as an architect, sometimes as a mason.

My heart’s desire to help the reconstruction after the earthquake took me to Nepal. I set out on a 6-day bike journey by myself to reach Sindhupalchok region of Nepal. There I volunteered with various NGO’s to build school buildings.

After 5 years of wandering, I now wish to establish my roots in Uttrakhand and start a building centre which focuses on research and dissemination of ecologically sensitive and sustainable solution which are resilient and future proof. The centre will use these solutions in areas affected by natural forces, construction of new model villages, low cost housing, public infrastructure, etc.


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