delhi’s Sanjay camp gets a colourful makeover
The next time you pass by chanakyapuri in delhi do take a detour and visit sanjay camp. The slum won’t be an eyesore anymore. Painted in bright colours of red, blue, green and purple – it is giving a new lease of life to its residents. Eye-catching graffiti on the faded walls, animated with doraemon and Mickey Mouse, is bringing vigour and joy to the otherwise gloomy slum. The slum resembles like the Brazilian favela bursting with colours.
The makeover was done by ngo Button Mushrooms, brainchild of two delhi university’s Venkateswara college graduates – isham sethi and PM shivani. The duo organised an initiative, ‘Kachi gali – Rang desh Ke’, in March with the help of shalimar Paints to give a facelift to the slum in an artistic manner to spread smiles. “We started this initiative to combine creative power and social change. creativity has a lot of power. it is an innovative way to bring about a change in society,” says 22-year-old sethi. some of the murals in the slum are even laden with social messages to save water and save the girl child.
Around 400 students of fine arts, mostly from the university of delhi, turned up for the two-day event in March to paint the slum. some professional artists have also lend a hand, rather brush, to make the place cheerful. “We wanted to paint the entire slum, but so far we have painted a little over 700 houses. This was our first phase. We plan to paint the remaining houses before diwali this year,” sethi adds.
But convincing slum dwellers of this selfless effort was not easy. sceptical of the initiative, the residents were not able to understand why someone would paint their houses for free. “some even laughed at us,” says Sethi. “But after watching our selfless efforts they got excited about the idea and everyone wanted to get their houses painted. in fact, on the second day of the event, some slum dwellers also started painting with us,” says sethi.