In an effort to create awareness on water conservation, students from HR College have painted walls in Worli.
In contrast to graffiti depicting Amitabh Bachchan from Deewar on a Bandra wall and the plethora of artwork on walls in Sassoon Docks and Fort, this new mural behind Atria Mall in Worli looks slightly different. Colourful and with bright wordings adorning the wall, this newest addition to Mumbai’s public art library comes with a message.
The murals urge passers-by to be considerate and save water. They also go on to depict how difficult it gets for residents of remote villages and areas to have access to clean drinking water.
What many don’t know is that not only was the idea conceptualised by students of the Rotaract Club of H.R. College of Commerce and Economics, but they also went ahead and made the murals and paintings.
Ishan Jawrani, president of the Rotaract Club, and a second-year student, says that the idea came to them when they saw the struggles residents of Kumberwadi, village (Ahmednagar) faced daily. “Under the club, we work on social causes and we adopted this village near Ahmednagar. We provide them everything, right from building a well, to education and streetlights. And water was a big problem for them; they did not have easy access to it,” he explains.
The students, on seeing their problems, decided to make sure those who have easier access to it know just how precious water it. To that end, they got in touch with Eureka Forbes, and the company got designer Prerana Chabbariya on board to help them with the drawings.
After brainstorming for long with the designer, a sketch was put into place for the students. This enthusiastic bunch then took the blueprint and replicated it on the walls.
Prerana says, “It was an abstract theme we had to work on. We’ve shown different aspects of water-related uses. There are people holding pots next to a well, and on the other side, there are two people ignorant that a tap is still running. It shows that the more we have of it, the less we care.”
One of the more important artworks on the elaborately designed wall is of a woman walking to fetch water. While seemingly ordinary, the design has more to it than meets the eye, explains Deepali Kothari, a first year student — it explains the daily struggle of women in villages. “I am a feminist and I wanted to show the scuffle village women have to go through to get one pot of water. So I had this idea of a lady walking to fetch water with a slogan saying ‘Save Water’. This will attract the attention of passers-by,” she says.
In all, about 80 to 100 students worked on the graffiti, which is spread across 100 metres, covering four walls. “It took us about two days and eight hours to complete the work. On day one, we worked on the outlines and a few fillings. On the second, we had a packed day. There was a gathering of only 20 artists, wherein we did the touch up, detailing, darkening and finished the whole wall,” says a proud Ishan.
Prerana is impressed with the awareness the students displayed. “When I work with students, I don’t expect them to know about the cause. What was surprising about they was that they has so much information about the cause,” she smiles.
Having accomplished the noble cause in Worli, the students hope to move towards Fort now. “Though we are yet to conceptualise an idea, we have already obtained the permission for the wall outside M.S.S.A. Gound. And this time we will be working with underprivileged children,” concludes Ishan.