Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: International artists to propagate cleanliness by painting murals

On the first day, walls of Khanna market would get a coat of fresh paint and then French artist Chifumi and Delhi-based Anpu would start painting.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is all set to get an international endorsement with 25 street artists set to propagate the cleanliness drive by painting murals on the walls of Lodhi Colony.
NEW DELHI:Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is all set to get an international endorsement with 25 street artists, including 12 from abroad, set to propagate the cleanliness drive by painting murals on the walls of Lodhi Colony in the capital.

After a celebrity push on its launch in 2014, the new Swachh initiative, which will kick start on Wednesday, is a part of Street Art Festival in Delhi. On the first day, walls of Lodhi Colony’s Khanna market would get a coat of fresh paint and then French artist Chifumi and Delhi-based Anpu would start painting the murals, turning the South Delhi locality one of the first "open art galleries" in the country.

"There was a time when Lodhi Colony was amongst the cleanest areas in the city. The market area had nice clean walls and beautiful arches. But now we see posters and stains and dilapidated structures," said Hanif Kureshi, artistic director of Street Art Festival. "Through the Street Art Festival we would not only spruce up the area but also get the message of Swachh Bharat Mission across," he told ET.

The project would involve the community, including school-children and shopkeepers. The initiative, which has the support of some foreign embassies and the urban development ministry, would see invitation to the local community to become a part of the Lodhi art district by scraping the walls clean and putting a fresh coat of paint before the street artists get down to work.

"When we involve the community we ensure there is a sense of ownership and the area remains clean," Kureshi said. The cleanliness message is underlined as street artists get to work daily and continue painting murals till end of February, when the Street Art Festival wraps up.

This would be a pilot project and if the experiment is a success, the organisers would replicate it in other areas of Delhi and later in other metro cities.
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The project, however, had to face strict scrutiny from Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC), which refused to grant permission for painting murals on main motorways.
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