Pourakarmikas also draw rangolis in areas that are usually dirtied by litterbugs
Mysuru: Suddenly, a dull residential area that was hitherto a garbage dump has come to life, thanks to the artistic initiative taken by a Corporator and the officials from the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC).
The site has now come to be known as perhaps the city’s first public-art-cum-awareness area where wall paintings and beautiful graffiti have taken the place of ugly garbage dumping sites.
For many years, the residents of Ward 19 at Vontikoppal near the one side of Ramakrishna Ashram have been dealing with many garbage dumping spots. Area Corporator Bhagya Mahadesh has taken up an integrated approach to beautify the area to a beautiful walkway.
“People throw their garbage at this spot and it gets scattered along the whole stretch due to scavenging dogs and cows. The MCC workers would come and clean as much as they could whenever people raised grievances, but after ten minutes someone would throw garbage again. We figured that if the stretch was beautified, people would refrain from dirtying the place,” Bhagya Mahadesh told Star of Mysore.
Unfortunately, walkers used to sit on stone benches in the area amidst garbage. “It was difficult to come to this place because of the scattered garbage. We painted over their dingy road-facing wall with vibrant artwork to discourage passers-by from littering along the stretch. Thanks to the initiative taken by MCC Commissioner G. Lakshmikantha Reddy and Zone 4 Development Officer Y.T. Hegananda, Rs. 4 lakh grant was released,” she explained.
Along with the artwork, there are wall paintings that show messages urging people to segregate waste and not to litter. “We wanted to create awareness on waste management and cleanliness through paintings. People have been asked to segregate the waste and put garbage in the dustbin. These paintings have been made not only for beautification but also to give the message that cleanliness is a good habit necessary for a clean environment and healthy lifestyle,” Bhagya Mahadesh added.
‘Not a good idea’
According to a resident of the area who often visits the road for morning and evening walks, while the painting on the compound wall is a welcome move, the appropriation of the spot where garbage was earlier dumped for laying figures of animals made from discarded tyres and cement is not a good idea at all because it obstructs the free passage of those people who want to use the footpath. At this point, the pedestrians will have to walk on the road where usually there is heavy traffic movement and as such dangerous to their life.
A novel initiative
“The MCC staff and officers have identified hundreds of such garbage dumping spots that can be beautified to deter littering. Of them, each Zonal Office have been allotted 10 to 12 places to beautify and a budget of Rs. 30 lakh has been reserved. The painting and art work in Ward 19 are attractive and has earned the appreciation of people. We have also taken up drawing rangoli patterns on the roads to prevent littering. Women Pourakarmikas, who know how to draw rangoli have been encouraged to use their skills at places where garbage is regularly dumped.”
— G. Lakshmikantha Reddy, Commissioner, Mysuru City Corporation