Speaking about the Journey so far, Chal Rang De’s Communication Head, Mr. Sumitro Sircar said,
Chal Rang De is an NGO that took its first steps in Mumbai. Our aim is to transform the city into a colorful amalgam of local stories and talent. By painting the walls of the slums with vibrant colors, we believe it can not only change everyone’s outlook towards the areas but also create a positive emotion among the residents.
After introducing Asalpha officially on Wikipedia, Chal Rang De successfully colored various other sectors of the society. Chal Rang De has revamped Sakinaka Police Station to break the stereotypes that the police are associated with. Chal Rang De has also created Mumbai’s largest wall mural by Mumbaikars in collaboration with Mumbai Metro. Chal Rang De has painted city’s speed breakers or zebra crossings for Radio City’s campaign #BlackAndWhileHoli. Chal Rang De has given sustainable waterproofing to 400 houses of Khar’s slums with a colorful alternative to tarpaulins. Along with UNEnvironment and Bhamla Foundation, Chal Rang De created 1200 sqft art wall that promotes #BeatPlasticPollution. Chal Rang De has also revamped an orphanage to celebrate an agency’s 5 year anniversary. Chal Rang De used color as its weapon and the walls of Bandra’s SV Road as its canvas to create awareness about mental health with Birla’s MPower foundation. Through Chal Rang De, we take baby steps; we try to educate the slum dwellers in every possible way. Along with a few NGOs, we conduct workshops regarding sustainable lifestyle, menstrual hygiene, alternative ways of making money, etc. We try to provide them with exposure as much as possible.
Did you face any challenges?
We made sure we had a green signal from every authoritative body, but only after we had the permission of the residents and the presiding committee in the area. We faced little to no aversion from anyone while we presented our intentions to the people in concern.
Why Chal Rang De?
The idea came to our founder Dedeepya Reddy when she was traveling in the Mumbai Metro. She saw before her the beautiful but untouched landscape of the Asalpha village slums. She was reminded of the unwarranted negativity that most conversations about slums had, and she knew then that she had found a canvas to show the world otherwise. Chal Rang De means ‘Let’s Go Paint’ which is an action by itself for a new age movement.
The project, that started in Mumbai, was born from a true love for the city and they wanted to involve its people. Using the power of digital media, the campaign kick-started with 750 plus volunteers who transformed the slum of Asalpha.
It all began with that one Facebook post and with the right use of social media, we received over 2500 volunteers in less than 5 days. With an average of 750 volunteers swarming the slum, who cleaned, coloured and beautified the hills of Asalpha in bright hues of pink, yellow, red and blue. The idea was to make the outside of the slum as beautiful as it was on the inside with art that was a reflection of the people living in that area. India is one of the few countries, that was untouched by street art and now the Chal Rang De slums, outdoor galleries in their own right, are helping these artists find their way to the limelight.
The event soon became one of the most talked about initiatives of the year. Conversations spread across national and international media- print, web, radio, and TV putting Asalpha on the world map. The transformed area is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city and a photographers haven. Slums recognized for all the infamous and wrong reasons are now highlighted in a colorful and happier light, and that was just the beginning.
Featured in BBC World, The New York Post, Daily Mail UK, The Guardian, International Business Times, The Week UK, India Today’s cover story, among others, Dedeepya Reddy has been honoured by the United Nation’s Green Crusader Award, CNBC Network18 India Hoga Clean and MG Changemaker by The Better India. She spoke at an independent TED event in Mumbai on breaking stereotypes in the city’s slums. Chal Rang De has become more than just an initiative but a movement where color and designs bring communities together to break stereotypes.
Anything else you think is important to highlight
Using colour as a medium to make India, cleaner and beautiful, Chal Rang De has successfully instilled a sense of ownership in the citizens who have been a part of the campaign. The goal is to not only make the residents happier and proud of their home but also help them realize their potential and make them self-reliant in the long-run. Realization of these areas as popular tourist decisions that create income for the locals, while also popularizing a once-ignored community, will always be our aim.
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2 thoughts on “Chal Rang De transforms Mumbai Slums into a Rainbow!”
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