How many times you have passed badly defaced public compound wall or a flyover and wished you could scrape the mess clean from its surface? How many times you have come across spaces under the same flyovers or traffic islands and BBMP sites filled with garbage, serving as a breeding ground for pests as well as temporary resting areas for wandering cows? How many times you have wished these ugly faces of our urban spaces could be cleaned up and converted into clean public resting zones?
Realising the dire need as well as the immense potential that such spaces house, the Brigade Group, as part of its CSR activity, have collaborated with The Ugly Indian (TUI) to spruce up one of Bengaluru’s prominent landmarks, the Anand Rao Circle flyover. The landmark flyover, standing defaced with multiple posters, dirt and much more, is being scraped, cleaned and painted by the large band of volunteers of TUI.
Working over weekends, the volunteer base, after first cleaning and painting the sides of the flyover, brought in attractive art to its walls in the form of Kudremukh (horse face), as representative of the race course in the vicinity. One part of the flyover overlooks the Holiday Inn Express property. Not surprisingly, the hotel management too was keen on being party to this social initiative. Besides the involvement of the Brigade Group and Holiday Inn Express, TUI was lent a hand by the local MLA and hundreds of citizens who extended their active support.
The work essentially involved cleaning up first and thence uplifting aesthetically through art. The objective was to use art and beauty to prevent the flyover from being defaced through posters, graffiti, along with littering of garbage, besides these walls becoming public urinals. Stated TUI, “there is a psychology involved in littering and defacing. When something is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, it deters a person from defacing it. In short, a good design has the power to alter public behavior pattern.”
TUI further added, “This is a movement of the people, of volunteers who genuinely want to make a difference to the city. We are not here to point fingers or blame the system. In our own small way we believe in making a difference where people pitch in voluntarily because they believe in it.”
As for the number of people who worked on the project, TUI said. “A few hundred would have worked on it till now, it is a loose knit volunteer base. So we do not keep track of the exact number. There were over 50 volunteers from the hotel and along with this were members of the public who all pitched in.”
Incidentally, the design of the horses painted is well thought out and in geometric forms, coined in a manner such that even those who have no clue about art or painting can execute the task. “The design is also done with future maintenance in perspective. Thus the geometric forms enable easy maintenance and rectification in case of weathering or defacement. The paint used too is weatherproof to last longer.”
As part of the second phase, Brigade Group along with Holiday Inn Express, have been aiding TUI to execute the reclaiming of the dead space under the flyover which had been reduced to a garbage dump. TUI had the area first cleared, then hardscaped, with greenery brought in along with seating. “The design here too was done keeping in mind the maintenance of the space once it is completed”, said TUI. The attractive seating area with greenery that this space has now turned into, finds many stopping by to rest, make calls, even conduct informal meetings.
Says Pavitra Shankar, Vice President, Brigade Group, “This is an initiative as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility. The reason for picking this space for sprucing up was the potential Brigade Hospitality saw in turning this unused area into an active public zone, besides aesthetically painting an important landmark of the city that has hitherto served merely as an eyesore. We hope this initiative will enable public to see the potential of our unused public spaces and traffic islands, dead spaces under the flyovers as well as understand how aesthetically pleasing it is to see public walls filled with art rather than posters and graffiti.”