The mention of slums usually brings to mind dark, dingy houses with walls that have perhaps never been painted. This visual is however soon set to change. In a bid to give Mumbai slums a colourful makeover, a few youngsters have come forward and collaborated with corporate houses and started a movement called ‘Chal Rang De’. As a part of this initiative, young people are coming forward to paint the walls of the slums with bright, vibrant colours, as they believe this will change people’s outlook towards these areas. 

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‘Chal Rang De’ is an initiative started by FruitBowl Digital in collaboration with Mumbai Metro One, Snowcem Paints and Co.Lab.Oratory Asia. The first slums to get a makeover is in Asalpha village in Ghatkopar. The person who conceptualised this initiative is Dedeepyya Reddy. She believes that a bit of colour can change people’s lives. “If a little colour makes me happy, how about filling people’s lives with colours?” This was the idea behind the massive project she has undertaken,” said Reddy in an article published on News18. It reportedly took 400 people and 3 days to colour the village.

However, going into people’s houses and asking for permission to paint their house is easier said than done. Reddy shares that initially, when they knocked on people’s door, there was a lot of scepticism. “Why would you want to colour our house,” was a question Reddy heard often from cautious slum dwellers. Eventually, after a little convincing and a little running around to get permission, Reddy managed to colour 120 walls in the village.

Image: Facebook/ Chal Rang De
Image: Facebook/ Chal Rang De

Reddy states that she lives by the motto, “Color the community, color the hill, color the humanity”. The plan now is to colour all the slums in Mumbai. The happiest moment for the volunteers was when an old man walked upto Reddy and thanked them for transforming their slum into a masterpiece. “I believe it gives them a sense of joy, an identity and hope that things are going to be okay. Color has the power to create change. Small changes together can make a huge impact,” Reddy said.

Here is the post by Mumbai Metro:

In the next project, Reddy plans to get artists, but she explains that almost anybody can pick up the brush and paint. The idea that anybody can participate makes it all the more inclusive and makes a world of a change, she believes. Ultimately, the idea is to make Mumbai happier, one rooftop at a time, she says.