Colour gives life to anything that’s dull. A group of artists and volunteers have done exactly that to a slum in Mumbai by painting its walls with murals in vivid shades of green, blue, red, pink, purple, yellow and many more.
Perched on a small hilltop, the slum in the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar was transformed over two weekends by 15 artists, 750 volunteers and 420 litres of paint in an initiative undertaken by the non-profit organisation ‘Chal Rang De’.
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From a distance, it now resembles little pieces of Lego land and the effect is so dramatic that some are calling it India’s version of Italy’s vibrant Positano resort.
The artwork splashed across the 174 walls reflects the lives of people who stay here and communicates a message to both old and young; it was the result of brainstorming by professional artists and novice painters.
The 17 murals on the walls vary from a colourful auto rickshaw which many people drive, a mischievous cat inspired by a resident’s pet, a bright blue wall that lists out things to do in Mumbai and an astronaut meant to encourage kids to dream big.
The result is not just a prettier place but a cleaner one too as people have become proud of where they live and conscious of not littering.
The painting of the slum in Mumbai is part of a wider street art movement in public spaces in cities like Mumbai and New Delhi.
“Chal Rang De” is shortly undertaking another project to paint a slum in the suburb of Bandra. It also plans to start tours and walks for visitors to the Ghatkopar slum soon. The residents say they are waiting to welcome people with open arms.
This article was first published by lonelyplanet.com