Rashee Mehra

Consultant - Academics & Research | rmehra at iihs dot ac dot in


2017    MSc, Urbanisation & Development,London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE),

             London, United Kingdom

2008    BA (Honours), English Literature, Gargi College, University of Delhi, Delhi NCR, India

Countries: India
States: New Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
Cities: New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai
Languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi,Tamil, Marwari

Rashee Mehra is an urban geographer by training. Her work began in the informal settlements of Delhi in 2009 on the issues of housing and its allied rights. She was part of the setting up of a non-profit organisation in 2011. The organisation continues to work on providing non-formal education for at-risk children living in informal settlements in Patna and Nalanda. For over 15 years, Rashee has been part of numerous non-profit organisations and city-level networks that address themes of urban inequalities such as housing, urban planning and gender justice.


Rashee’s journey as a researcher began when she joined the IIHS School of Human Development at IIHS in 2019. She transitioned from working as a community worker to a researcher with the goal of bridging the gap between academics and practice to enable a form of scholarship that is embedded in community-held knowledge(s). She is passionate about research that is co-produced with and for community-led action for social justice. Through her research, she hopes to understand how communities, social movements and urban networks can become social infrastructures in the delivery of human rights and social protection to citizens in Indian cities.


To build on this research at IIHS, Rashee has been a part of the Main Bhi Dilli campaign (www.mainbhidilli.com), a citizen campaign to make the upcoming 2041 Master Plan of Delhi more representative and inclusive. The emphasis is on engaging citizens and geographies that have been historically excluded from traditional forms of city-making in the process of the master plan. She has also worked on understanding the relief work that community-based organisations did in Delhi and other urban centres in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Rashee now also works on building capacities and leadership of residents of informal communities in Delhi on housing and its allied rights. As part of the faculty of the Urban Fellows Programme, Rashee has been teaching a course called ‘Activism and the City’ since 2022.


Rashee received the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Chevening Scholarship to pursue her master’s at the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).


  • Other, Housing, Digital Blended Learning (DBL) course, IIHS
  • Project-based training, Housing, Project-related training, IIHS



  • Activism and the City, Urban inequality, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS
  • Integrative Case,Methods, Urban Fellows Programme (UFP), IIHS

Journal Article


Other Writing

  • Mehra, R., Bhan, G., & Jain, J. (2023, August). Filling in the gaps: how Delhi organisations provided food relief during COVID-19. (IIED Policy Brief). IIED.
  • Bhan, G., & Mehra, R. (2023, August). How far can non-state relief reach?. (IIED Policy Brief). IIED. https://www.iied.org/how-far-can-non-state-relief-reach
  • Bhan, G., Chowdhury, A. R., Mehra, R., Sohane, N., & Sampat, K. (2023, August ). Social protection in Indian cities: lessons from the pandemic (IIED Policy Brief). IIED, London. https://www.iied.org/21566iied
  • Mehra, R., Nalla, V., Sohane, N. (2023). Empowering women to improve awareness and access to tenure, infrastructure and finance in informal settlements: Learning study of the Zamini Adhikar Abhiyaan. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/EWIAAT06.2023
  • Bhan, G., Ravindranath, D., Rai Chouwdhury, A., Mehra, R., Sinha, D., Kiran, A., & Malladi, T. (2022). Reproducing a household: Recognising and assessing paid and unpaid domestic work in urban India. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/RHRAPUDWUI11.2022
  • Bhan, G., Ravindranath, D., Rai Chouwdhury, A., Mehra, R., Sinha, D., Kiran, A., & Malladi, T. (2022). Deficits in decent work: Employer perspectives and practices on the quality of employment in domestic work in Urban India. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/DDWEPPQEDWUI11.2022
  • Bhan, G., Ravindranath, D., Rai Chouwdhury, A., Mehra, R., Sinha, D., Kiran, A., & Malladi, T. (2022). Employer practices and perceptions on paid domestic work: Recruitment, employment relationships, and social protection. Indian Institute for Human Settlements. https://doi.org/10.24943/EPPPDWRERSP11.2022
  • Bhan, G., D’Souza, P., Gajjar, H., Margosa, N., Mehra, R., Priya, K., & Rashmi, C. S. (2022). Lessons for social protection from the Covid-19 lockdowns report 2 of 2: Non-State actors. Indian Institute for Human Settlements.
  • Bhan, G., Rai Chowdhury, A., & Mehra, R. (2021). State of occupational safety and health practices at workplace for domestic workers in COVID-19 and possibilities for action. International Labour Organization. https://www.ilo.org/newdelhi/whatwedo/publications/WCMS_813644/lang–en/index.htm
  • Bhan G., Mehra, R., Sohane, N., Vasudev, E., & Yadav, M (2020). Jahan Jhuggi, Vahan Makaan: Assessing the viability and parameters of a Delhi Government JJ cluster improvement scheme. Indian Institute for Human Settlements and Indo-Global Social Service Society.
  • Bhan, G., D’Souza, P., Gajjar, H., Margosa, N., Mehra, R., Priya, K., Rashmi, C. S., Chowdhury, A. R., Sampat, K., & Sohane, N. (2023). Lessons for social protection from the Covid-19 lockdowns. In Urban arc 2023: Cities in flux – IIHS annual research conference. Indian Institute for Human Settlements.
  • Mehra, R., Lall, R., & Narayan, M. (2023, 25 June – 1 July). Co-producing knowledge in action: Reflecting from the main Bhi Dilli campaign for equitable planning in Delhi. Paper presented at the XX ISA World Congress of Sociology. Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre; International Sociological Association. https://www.isa-sociology.org/en/conferences/world-congress/melbourne-2023
  • Anand, G., Lall, R., & Mehra, R. (2022, February). Learning for and from participation: Reflections from engaging with citizens on Master Plans in India​. Paper presented at the Future of urban equality: Knowledge, partnerships and pathways in action. Knowledge in action for Urban Equity.
  • Main Bhi Dilli Campaign
  • Study on Examining Paid and Unpaid Domestic Work in Urban Homes
  • COVID-19 Social Science Research Evidence Platform: COVID Collective
  • Delivering Social Protection to Informal Workers: Lessons Learned From COVID-19 Relief Measures in India
  • State of Occupational Safety and Health Practices at Workplace for Domestic Workers in COVID-19 and Possibilities for Action
  • Learning and Evaluation Study of the Zamini Adhikar Abhiyan
  • Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) Consortium
  • Government of Delhi Emergency Hunger Committee
  • Other