Many innocent lives are lost in this country to potholes. The pothole menace is a grave concern and yet govt apathy makes one wonder if there will ever come a day where our roads would be clean and clear of potholes. It is a sad reality we live in today. No longer can it be pushed under the carpet. What happened in Mumbai recently when a renowned RJ raised her voice against this menace, and the whole political outrage over her ‘rap’ proves only one thing, nothing much will change in this country.
But it is important we raise our voice, especially in a democracy. It becomes imperative for law-abiding citizens to demand their basic rights. Like this one artist, who has been relentlessly channeling his energy and art to provoke, to provoke the govt to act.
Remember this picture of the life-sized crocodile in the middle of a road—trending throughout the internet—after civic authorities failed to repair a pothole?
In June 2015, Baadal Nanjundaswamy, 36, a visual artist from Bangalore, famous for his 3D painting and street art, turned a 12-feet long gigantic pothole on the Sulthanpalya Main Road in the city into a living ground for a life-sized crocodile, in an attempt to bring it to the attention of the Bangalore municipal corporation.
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His art highlighted a pothole which has been staring at people on the road for a while now and he took it upon himself to show the administration’s apathy towards civic issues faced by residents on a daily basis.
The pothole along with a broken water pipe on the street was making commuting difficult.
A drinking water pipe broke about a month ago. The subsequent rain and constant traffic has eroded the road creating a big pothole. Authorities have showed no response to rectify it. Locals have complained to the BBMP and the BWSSB to no avail. I am hoping they will take some action now.
Nanjundaswamy was quoted telling The Indian Express.
Nanjundaswamy has been making art around current civic issues for the past decade. He not only makes art around potholes and dysfunctional road situations, but also murals and has been a part of street art projects like ST+ART India.
His pothole project, although, has been immensely successful. When asked about how the project helps in the fixing of this pothole, Nanjundaswamy told ScoopWhoop,
Once the artwork is out on social media where I make sure that BBMP and the traffic police are tagged, the man hole and the pot holes get fixed within a day or two. That is the primary reason why I do it.
His latest project was in Mysore, recently, where he was trying to spread awareness about a manhole and dengue, which has been spreading far and wide in the city.
Referencing back to the Malishka story, when asked about whether he will travel to Mumbai and other cities alike, he said,
I travel quite a bit. I don’t decide on going someplace just to make art around the pothole. I simply improvise. Wherever I see a pothole, a manhole or a dysfunctional area, I make art around it on the go.
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Well, bad roads in the country are calling out to artists like Nanjundaswamy, we hope he spreads his wings to other parts of the country so we can raise awareness and bring it to the attention of the authorities.