Kotturpuram Housing Board residents transform area filled with filth, slush

Chennai: Finding your way to ‘H’ Block at the Kotturpuram Housing Board, is rather easy. Just ask anyone to guide you to the ‘painted walls’.

The adults and children here are basking in the adulation they are receiving from all quarters, after they transformed the walls of an alley here.

Officials from the civic body are terming this as, ‘leading by example’.

“Earlier, if something fell into the alley, we would not want to pick it up. It was filled with so much filth and slush,” says Pattu (45), a resident of Kotturpuram Housing Board. But all this has changed, with the new ambience.

The riot of colours have acted as a deterrent to anyone who wants to dispose garbage here. “We hardly used to open our windows. It was a nasty sight,” recalls Pattu, adding that most of them here were habituated to throwing food and other waste.

It was Gavaskar, an employee with the local waste management company, who wanted to change things around.
His first attempt at cleaning the entire place, was not successful, as the space got dirty in a span of six months. But this time, it worked, as he got children of the same block to paint the walls.

“I thought if the residents saw the little ones engaged in art work here, they will not dump garbage. It turned out to be right,” he says.

Along with a local artist, Kutty, the children have given the walls and manholes, a new lease of life. They have drawn houses, trees and put their hand and feet prints.

They have also made the area their playground, and come with toys and board games every evening.

After seeing the changes here, authorities pitched in by arranging for new lights in the pathway.

But the efforts have not ended, as everyday at 8.15 am, Gavaskar takes a whistle and goes around the neighbourhood, reminding residents not to dump garbage. He also looks forward to better the area.

“We want people to take English and yoga classes, and are hoping someone can sponsor a few games for the children,” he states.

Naomi N