Small Change big im­pact

Chal Rang De is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion on a mis­sion to make Bom­bay gor­geous again. Ac­cord­ing to Dedeepya Reddy, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s young Co-founder, colour has the power to cre­ate change. It gives a sense of joy, an iden­tity and hope that things are go

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Chal Rang De is an ini­tia­tive that aims to trans­form the world one colour at a time and change the peo­ple’s per­spec­tive to­wards var­ied so­cial and com­mu­nity is­sues. ‘Chal Rang De’ tied up with Snowcem Paints and the Metro for the colour­ful post­card look of Asal­pha near Ghatk­par, our very first ini­tia­tive. Af­ter colour­ing the walls of Asal­pha vil­lage the or­gan­i­sa­tion worked on a sim­i­lar ini­tia­tive in Khar Danda, near Ban­dra Mumbai. Be­sides bring­ing a per­spec­tivechang­ing shift in the dy­nam­ics of the go­ing-on in the slums, the coloured walls have boosted the pride of the res­i­dents who spend most of their time travers­ing the elab­o­rate stairs on the hill. Every painted wall is a new sight to them, and every art in­stal­la­tion, an in­spi­ra­tion and re­minder of the po­ten­tial they pos­sess. Peo­ple who have vis­ited the area claim it no longer looks like a slum, and that this gor­geous trans­for­ma­tion has put the area on the map for some­thing much big­ger than in­cor­rect as­sump­tions. The ad­di­tion of colour and art to their lives has given them hope, iden­tity, and a sta­tus that they all knew in their hearts they very much needed and in our opinion, de­served. Chal Rang De has be­come more than just an ini­tia­tive but a move­ment where colour brings com­mu­ni­ties to­gether to break stereo­types. what has been the im­pact of the ini­tia­tive? The im­pact was some­where be­tween tan­gi­ble and in­tan­gi­ble, where pos­i­tiv­ity that couldn’t pos­si­bly be quan­ti­fied, far out­weighed that which could be. With 750 vol­un­teers, 15 wall mu­rals, 170 walls painted with 50,000 sq.ft and 420 litres of paint used we were able to touch lives of 47 mil­lion peo­ple, we have adopted three com­mu­ni­ties in Mumbai and gen­er­ated 150+ jobs in a short span of 5 months. Asal­pha, our first project site as a neigh­bour­hood has found its way in Wikipedia as the Posi­tano of Mumbai. The area is now a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion that puts

The change is grad­ual but most def­i­nitely pos­i­tive. Slum res­i­dents have started do­ing things they never did be­fore like keep­ing out­doors as clean as their in­te­ri­ors. They care about their sur­round­ings and there is a sense of own­er­ship that ex­ists. Kids play a ma­jor role in achiev­ing this.

Mumbai in the lime­light for all the right rea­sons. The in­tan­gi­ble im­pact that we saw was in terms of the un­of­fi­cial No Spit Pol­icy in Asal­pha where the kids guard the walls of the hill­top en­sur­ing that the area that we so hap­pily painted is in mint con­di­tion. Opening the gates to the out­side world, the peo­ple in th­ese ar­eas are not ashamed of their sur­round­ings; they have a new sense of own­er­ship.

what Key steps need to be taken for the life in slums to Change?

The key steps to­wards change are aware­ness, drive to change and most im­por­tantly main­tain­ing the change. Since lo­cals have been a part of the process from the be­gin­ning, they feel a re­spon­si­bil­ity to­wards the project and take up charge of its main­te­nance. We also re­main ac­tively in­volved in the project area af­ter the paint­ing is done. Along with fol­low-ups, we also con­duct art work­shops, sem­i­nars for so­cial is­sues, photo walks, and other ac­tiv­i­ties that pro­mote the area, boost lo­cal morale, and keep peo­ple mo­ti­vated to main­tain the area. BMC and MLA Ashish She­lar were ex­tremely sup­port­ive in beau­ti­fy­ing the area. Post our work, they will also be ac­tively in­volved in main­tain­ing it as we are in­stalling dust­bins in the en­tire area to en­sure they have eas­ier ac­cess to a garbage dis­posal. We think Govt. should keep the be­low points in mind for sus­tain­abil­ity: • En­sure proper waste dis­posal • En­sure light­ings for the lanes in­side slums Plenty of dust­bins and fre­quent clean­ing from the cor­po­ra­tion body • Fre­quent health camps for the peo­ple with­out any­body’s in­flu­ence

Khar (af­ter)

Khar (Be­fore)

walls of slum

Dedeepya REDDY

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