A group of Ghaziabad residents under an initiative called ‘Youth Network Ghaziabad’ have turned the city’s public spaces into their canvas. They are painting the pillars of flyovers on Sundays in a move to beautify the city.
The pillars, earlier covered with paan stains and movie posters, are now covered in attractive abstract designs in bright colours and slogans aimed at motivating others to keep the city clean.
The initiative started by Mayank Choudhary, a businessman who resides in K block of Kavi Nagar. The group has over 100 active members from the city, who are from all walks of life and are in the age group of 15-35.
“We came up with the idea in January as it was saddening to see the ugly condition of the city and the civic mess. I started by gathering a few friends and conducted a cleanliness drive in our colony and at the new Ghaziabad railway station,” Mayank Chaudhary said.
Chaudhary says he gathered more volunteers solely through social media. The initiative has been given a go-ahead by the city administration and Ashu Verma, the city mayor, also participated in the painting drive.
“The initiative is a noble one and in order to motivate more people to join them, I also participated in painting the pillars. The last time I painted was in my school days, so it was a very nice experience to see my artistic creation in a public place,” Verma said.
The group manages expenses on donations from residents and conducts its painting drives in phases. They have painted nine pillars of Thakurdwara flyover near Delhi Gate and four pillars of the Jain Temple flyover at Kavi Nagar. Chaudhary said that the work on the flyover in Kavi Nagar has been stalled due to the monsoon.
“The first phase is to remove the numerous posters stuck on the pillars. Next, we cover the pillars in primer to conceal the paan stains. The third phase is creating an attractive design and painting it in bright colours,” Radhika Sindhwani, vice-president of the initiative, said. She is a law student and resides in Nehru Nagar.
Slogans such as ‘hamara shahar saaf ho, hum sabka isme hath ho’ (Let our city be clean, with the participation of all) and ‘hum sabne ye thana hai, Ghaziabad swach banana hai’ (we have decided to make Ghaziabad clean) are written on the pillars painted by the volunteers.
The volunteers, however, are dismayed as in various instances, posters have been pasted on the artwork created by them.
“All of us are working professionals and work all Sunday on the pillars. However, we have often seen that the artwork has been covered with more poster just a day after we paint the pillars. We hope that people can understand the idea behind the initiative and refrain from such activities,” Chaudhary said.