In 1995 while Kinnari and John Lakhia were living in New York City they received a phone call from Ahmedabad in India.

It was one of Kinnari's uncle calling to say that they were putting their four hundred year old ancestral home or haveli on the market, and that they had wonderful buyer lined up that would demolish the house and to make way for some apartments with a shopping complex.

John and Kinnari purchased the house instead and named it Pratima after Kinnari's late mother.

Ever since then they have worked on protecting their historic neighbourhood of Jethabhai ni pol from insensitive gentrification.


Leading by example, they restored their haveli and actively opposed construction that would ruin the traditional urban fabric they resided in. 


John and Kinnari’s pioneering work that started in 1995 was the spark that triggered the current heritage movement in the walled city of Ahmedabad, which, recently in 2017 was sited as a world heritage city by UNESCO.


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