A youngster with a dream
400 people
120 houses 
3 days

Yes! Its time to do more now

Result: Explosion of colours which wipe out the drab, doomed,desolate slum into a colourful canvas.

Colourful canvas

I often travel in Mumbai metro from Andheri to Ghatkoper Metro Station and while passing through Asalpha on the way to Ghatkoper, one look outside and you see nondescript slums on a hillock.

Just imagine how this slum would have looked devoid of these colours

 You would have squirmed if someone asked you “Would you like to visit that slum” and naturally the answer would be Pagal Hai Kya.

And believe me someone took this Pagal hai very personally and showed the world what good Pagalpan ( madness) can do. 

Good deeds can bring smiles
# Chal Rang De

Ab hum bhi kam pagal nahi, socha chalo dekh kar aate hai, yeh holi ke alawa kon sa naya riots of colour chal raha hai.

All set to Explore this Riots of Colours

I was looking for an opportunity to go and visit this Asalpha Slum and feel the actual presence of being there.Luckily for me I saw Swapnil  and Parag putting out an event for the photo walk. Without giving it a thought I knew I was in.

Early Metro to Asalpha Metro Station

Imagine, It been last week of March and so much pending work,especially for an accounting guy like me.It was virtually impossible for me to go but as they say where there is a will, there is a way. So I left my house very early by 7.30 am and reached Asalpha metro station.No one from our group had arrived but as the time went by everyone started to trickle in. We all assemble at Gate no 1 and after taking a group pic started to move toward the foothill of this slum.

Group Photo time

We started our climb taking the stairs from near the Dhobhi Ghat and started to explore the different painting made on the walls of the houses of the people residing there.

lovely paintings outside the house walls

One more for photographer’s sake

Our exploration took us through the narrow alleys.

Narrow Alleys

 Cramped but steep stairs was order of the day.

Cramped Stairs

 However the explosion of colours all around us made our day. We were all in a frenzy clicking pictures of the houses, people, surrounded buidings and even aeroplanes and what not 😆 

This is what I meant with What not 😆

It was 10 am when we finished our exploration and I quickly dashed to the Asalpha metro station from where I took the metro train and reached my office desk dot on time.

Boss lekin abhi Ramayan katam nahi hui…… Kyo ki the question remains Akhir me iske peeche Haat kiska tha, who painted the town red and why

Kiska Haat tha yeh karne me

Wont you like to know what was this Mission and who were the people behind it. 

Who coloured my walls ?

I am actually very happy that someone had this attitude of madness to think out of the box  and give new lease of life to damp, drub slum walls.

Out of the box thinking , Literally 😍

This constructive madness took a form of a drive, an initiative, which led to coming together of many youngster, corporate houses who changed the meaning of slum…. atleast for Asalpha.

Brought colour in the lives of people of Asalpha

A movement was born,Chal Range De with a mission to change the way the people will look at the slums. A brain child of  Dedeepya Reddy, in association  with Snowcem India,Mumbai Metro one, Fruitbowl digital and Co.lab.Oratory.Asia.

Brainchild to change the bland wall into  Colourful canvas

Explaining her motive behind picking up the brush to transform the city, Dedeepya Reddy writes on her official website “Colour the community,colour the hill,colour the entire area.Colour has the power to change. Some would say what difference can a colour make ? I believe it gives them sense of joy, an identity and hope that things are going to be okay.Small changes can make a huge impact.

A happy lot of people

If you ask me my opinion I felt it indeed had made a huge impact.I felt the residents were more receptive, more open and I could feel the happiness in their eyes. 

Colourful monogram of Asalpha

Project Chal Rang de was not all that easy. Imagine an army of youngsters marching toward your citadel armed with cans of paints and brushes in their hand. locals did had their apprehensive moments. Wondering as to why ? Why are they painting our walls, why with no benefits they are doing this and yet all this was overcome by the dedication of the youth brigade and which not only changed the colours of the wall but also changed the DNA of the people. This metamorphosis  brought in new sense of happiness, new sense of self esteem, new sense of belonging, which as I said earlier also, can be seen today in their eyes, in their receptiveness towards the strangers like us who were clicking their houses, their people. Their exuberant smile said all.

Indeed Chal Rang De was mission accomplished

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Hi, I am Aashish Chawla- The Weekend Wanderer. Weekend Wandering is my passion, I love to connect to new places and meeting new people and through my blogs, I will introduce you to some of the lesser-explored places, which may be very near you yet undiscovered...come let's wander into the wilderness of nature. Other than traveling I love writing poems.

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