Street art is beautifying and revitalizing India’s cities, markets, and neighborhoods

Delhi Street Art is an organization started in 2013 by Yogesh Saini — an engineer who had successful stints in Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other places.

Saini returned to India determined to do something creative and helpful to society.

Saini has built a team of 150 artists who volunteer to help children and community groups transform their private and public spaces with paint. Working in Delhi, as well as other cities such as Pune and Ahmedabad, they’ve helped turn the drab walls of marketplaces, community centers, and prisons — and even the imposing concrete underbelly of a highway flyover — into beaming expressions of community spirit.

While the movement has sprung up organically, without much support from the government, colorful murals have come to be seen as one part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign to clean up India’s cities.

Street art also seems to be good for business. Shankar Market, in the heart of New Delhi, is a case in point. The market used to be a warren with crumbling walls and cobwebs everywhere. It still is a warren, but the walls shine with a dazzling imagery of dragons and octopuses, musicians and dancers.

Ramesh Handa, 63-year-old president of the local traders association, had asked the New Delhi Municipal Council for a facelift for the market. The council asked Delhi Street Art. Handa couldn’t be happier with the result. There are more tourists — both Indian and foreign — and curious onlookers. Dry fruit seller Chandra Bhan Rao says the murals draw photographers and crowds, and boost his sales.

Note from Storm: The web development team for REVITALIZATION is based in Ahmedabad (pictured above), so I’m happy to feature this inspiring news from their home.

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