To solve the issue of overcrowding in Tihar Jail, the jail authorities build the Madoli Jail in December 2016. Spread across 68.4 acres in East Delhi, this jail, designed to house over 3,000 inmates, has got a new look. The inmates of Mandoli Jail and artists of Delhi Street Art (DSA) have transformed the walls of Mandoli Prison by painting them using Madhubani tribal art forms.
Yogesh Saini, founder of DSA says, “After several meetings with Sudhir Yadav, Director General, Delhi Prisons, we shortlisted tribal art forms and used Madhubani art to give a makeover to the walls.”
Painted across the exterior wall measuring 300 feet, the artwork has elements of nature in abundance. Saini says, “Covering 12,000 square feet, the artwork is the single biggest creation in any one location. With a lot of attention to detail, it stays true to the traditional elements of the art form.”
Completed in eight weeks, 15 artists of DSA and a team of inmates have painted even at heights above 10 feet using scaffoldings and ladders. “They used to work for seven to eight hours a day, and throughout the process, the security was tight. All the artists underwent multiple checks,” says Deepak Saini, another artist from DSA.
The motive of the project is to beautify the prison walls and also make it a life-changing experience for the prisoners. “The purpose behind the initiative is to hone the skills of inmates and encourage them to become better citizens. With colourful walls around, it will also create a positive environment for them,” adds Deepak Saini.
Artist Rahul Kumar says, “I had never visited a jail before and had no idea what it would be like. But this turned out nothing like I would have imagined. Working with inmates was a different experience altogether as some of them were really talented, friendly and willing to work hard with us.”