Approximately 42% of Mumbai’s population lives in slums.
Thousands of people dwell in these ramshackle homes made from planks of wood, rust tin roofs, and bleak walls. But now, thanks to an initiative called Chal Rang De, Mumbai slums are being given a bold, bright and colourful makeover.
Chal Rang De was started by Dedeepya Reddy, co-founder of digital media agency Fruitbowl Digital, with an aim to transform the city’s slums into beacons of vibrant technicolour.
Dedeepya explains, “[I] wanted to change peoples’ perception of the city’s slums while also spreading happiness through art and colour”. So she gathered a group of people – almost 400 people came forward to help – and set off for Asalpha village in the eastern suburbs of Mumbai.
Although some village residents were a bit perplexed and suspicious as to the group’s mission, they eventually received permission from them. Volunteers painted around 120 houses, splashing paint on walls and rooftops, with the village children taking up brushes too. The end result is a display of bright colour and whimsical design, giving the entire area a jolt of vitality and positivity.
Why choose colour?
“[I was thinking] about how I could ease up things with minimum resources, and wondering what was the least I could do, and decided firmly upon colour”, Dedeepya says. She further explains on Chal Rang De’s official website, stating “Colour the community, colour the hill, colour humanity. I believe it gives them a sense of joy, an identity and hope that things are going to be okay. Colour has the power to create change.”
What’s next for Chal Rang De?
“Mumbai, as a whole, has so many tales to tell in so many different ways, that we just wanted to provide a platform for the local talent to tell theirs, while also giving the community the attention and identity it so rightfully deserved.”
“We began with a handful of people, whose passion and dedication towards the cause inspired so many more amazing people to give us their time and skills,” says Dedeepya. “Chal Rang De was made a reality thanks to the collective effort of everybody involved, and we hope to spread the joy of colours and art as far as we can reach.”
Written by Vaishali Parnami
All images credit: Chal Rang De