This group of teachers have been sweating it out after the school hours with a mission to beautify the walls across Kalyan. This teachers-led initiative is all about using art as an effective medium to raise awareness.
Aiming to keep Kalyan’s public spaces clean and aesthetically pleasing, a group of 12 teachers, part of Kalyan Art Teacher Association, came to together to form the core team of this project that has left its creative mark on many walls in this distant suburb.
This social initiative aims not just to beautify and brighten dirty and paan-stained walls by painting them artistically, they have also painted murals that will create social awareness at the same time. Led by Vinod Shelkar (37), art teacher from Guru Nanak English High School at Kalyan, the group believes that defacement of the city walls can be stopped by combining two great forces — social responsibility and art. The teachers, who work at different schools in the city, chose the paan-stained wall outside Kalyan court to paint as their first project last month. “It took us two days to paint the wall. Through our paintings, we have decided to spread awareness about various issues such as save a girl child, save water, cleanliness etc,” said Amol Patil, 39, an art teacher at KC Gandhi School in Kalyan.
Kalyan Court, one of the city’s busiest areas, visited by hundreds of visitors on daily basis. “The wall was very dirty and was totally defaced by paan stains. We chose this area as huge number of people will see the messages we will be putting on the wall through out murals. We are sure that many people will come across our paintings and get motivated too,” said Shelkar.
The artists have also painted murals on the importance of education, tree plantation and the effects of air and water pollution. However, what caught the eyes of Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation officials was the teams effort to better the Kalyan’s ranking in the Swacch Sarvekshan (Cleanliness survey) 2018, through their paintings. “The group has done a fabulous job of beautifying the walls in the city. They have concentrated more on creating awareness amongst the citizens through their art. They have in a way supported the civic body in promoting their mission to better Kalyan’s ranking at the Swachh Survekshan. I am sure this will ensure more and more people to contribute towards the cause,” said Rajendra Deolekar, Mayor of Kalyan.
The group has now begun the work of painting the walls outside Mumbai University’s Kalyan Sub Centre. “University is another place, where large number of visitors are seen, especially youngsters. We hope our mural and messages would create awareness on various social issues, besides beautifying these walls,” added Shelkar, who is the secretary if Kalyan Arts Teachers Association.