Uma began the initiative, two years ago, when she noticed the garbage corner near her apartment on Vinayakam Street in Mandaveli was reduced to a dumpyard. After she took efforts to beautify it and a wall art was created, with the help of neighbours, the same was carried out in other localities. So far, the initiative has covered more than 20 spots in the city — from Porur to Parrys and in Mylapore. “We have been getting calls from resident associations and even schools and we have been getting children to participate in coming up with wall art,” she added.
Even as citizens in various age groups have participated, the most receptive have been children, said S Shivkumar, Uma’s husband, who has been the brain behind the artwork. “Children as young as three or four years of age tell their mothers about the harmful effects of plastic. So we thought, why not actively involve them and schools in it,” he said.
Earlier, the artwork was restricted to messages like ‘don’t litter’ or ‘don’t urinate’. A message-oriented spin to the artwork has been finding more takers. The wall art that has messages on water conservation, solid waste management, environment protection, etc appeal a lot to the younger age group, he added. “The idea is to conduct an art competition and the artwork of the winner is depicted on the walls. This would ensure an end to end involvement of the students, making it a lot more impactful exercise,” he added.
They are in talks with a couple of schools in the locality to implement the thought. “We have been getting a lot of enquiries through social media and it is just that they have mostly been from Mylapore,” said Uma.
Mylapore MLA R Natraj, too, has come forward to support the initiative.