Armed with paint brushes, volunteers unleashed their creativity on a drab looking wall.

In pictures How Chennais Mylapore came together to transform a wall into a canvas for people
news Human interest Monday, August 07, 2017 - 19:05
Written by  Pheba Mathew

What do a coconut picker, a police officer and an MLA have in common? A dilapidated wall that they helped transform into a beautiful work of art.

Sunday saw the coming together of people from different walks of life, thanks to a joint initiative by two NGOs – Chennai Tricolour Initiative and City Works – which helped oversee the painting of a run-down wall in Chennai’s Mylapore into a wall of creativity.  

Armed with paint brushes, 250 volunteers unleashed their creativity onto the drab looking wall opposite Nageswara Rao Park, converting it into a colourful space – with rainbow umbrellas, coconuts and flowers and birds jumping at passers-by.  

“Our main aim was to make sure that people will have a sense of ownership over these walls. here are lot of initiatives in Chennai where the wall is beautifully painted but after three months, no one even cares about it. People often think it is done by the government,” says Vijay Anand, a member of Chennai Tricolour Initiative.

So, what they did next was to spread the word on social media and go door to door to inform people about their initiative to transform a public space. “All the primary work was done by us and the artist drew the outline on Saturday itself. We then informed people about the project. The MLA of Mylapore was also supportive. We also took permission from the Corporation Commissioner,” explains Vijay.

While they expected the painting to be completed in four hours, to their astonishment about 250 people turned up on Sunday, and the entire stretch of wall was transformed in a matter of two-and-a-half hours. Vijay narrates, “A police personnel asked us if he could paint, and then a toddy tapper came and asked us what we were doing and then asked if he could join us. We said ‘yes’, and then he started drawing coconuts. It was a heart- warming experience.”

One of the challenges that they faced was to meet the expenses for the project. “We thought we will start off by painting the first wall and then see what can be done next. But surprisingly, a paint company has contacted us saying that they would be interested in providing us paint for the next ten walls,” says Vijay.

If you wish to contribute to their initiative, please click here.