With an aim to turn Ludhiana into graffiti capital, city artists and volunteers are adding colours to the dull walls and bridges of the city with their paintings. Some of them are professional, while some attached themselves with this campaign being run by the municipal corporation (MC) in an attempt to do something for their city.
The youngest among all artists, Shivam Pahwa, 25, had started graffiti around four years back, but he fell in love with colours at the age of five, when he saw his uncle making a painting. Shivam said, “Seeing someone painting was quite fascinating for me. From there, I developed inclination towards art and started painting. Since I wanted to do something grand, I chose graffiti art.”
“Under MC’s project, I have made graffiti at several places like Jagraon Bridge, BRS Nagar Bridge, Gill Chowk, Samrala Chowk, Pakhowal Road and Dugri junction on Sidhwan Canal. I feel very nice when people appreciate the work,” he said.
Another professional artist, Ravneet Saggu, 28, made his first graffiti on Malhar Road after Delhi rape case in 2011. “The art was appreciated by all. In my career as professional graffiti artist, I have always tried to highlight the social issues through my art. These days I am working on graffiti at BR Ambedkar Chowk, Jalandhar bypass with MCL,” he added.
Taking inspiration from the paintings of great artist Picasso, the 35-year-old, Jasvir Mahi, started painting on the canvas almost 10 years back.
Native of Tedhni Kalan village near Dhuri, Mahi said, “I always dreamt of painting big walls, and MC’s graffiti project gave me this opportunity. Though all the work I have done till now is special for me, the graffiti I am making on Lodhi Club underpass will be my best work.”
Another artist, Suraj, who specialises in oil painting, has recently joined the cause. Suraj said he had made oil painting of almost every renowned personality, and he was enjoying making graffiti on city walls.
The 38-year-old lone female artist in the project, Aarti Bhalla, who is a master of canvas art, said, “I create themes and my team shapes them. Currently we are doing graffiti at Lodhi club underpass.”
For this trio money is not a factor, but the feeling of contributing to the city is everything.
Sanjana Goel, Ritu Mehta and Sakshi Dadu, who have made graffiti at several city areas, said, “We feel so good when people appreciate our work. We will love to do more of such stuff.”
Appreciating the artists, MC commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said, “Without these artists, our vision of making the city ‘graffiti capital’ would not have materialised.”
He also thanked kids of Jugnu Club, members of NGOs like Sambhav Foundation, Ehsaas, Ludhiana Cares Ladies Society, Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, artist Raju and other volunteers for their participation in the project.