Millennium Post

Project Shankar Market makeover!

Project Shankar Market makeover!
The pale, weary and pan-stained walls and corridors of one of Delhi's oldest shopping destinations - Shankar Market - opposite Connaught Place's outer circle is in the makeover mode as street artists are painting its eight blocks in varied hues and narrations depicting music, dance and drama to increase the footfalls.

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has joined hands with Delhi Street Art (DSA) to reinvent and refurbish the market, best-known to many as ‘fabric market’ for women. This is the second phase of the refurbishing project that NDMC is doing after it completed its long-delayed renovation work of the Connaught Place in December, 2013.

‘To use street art for reinventing this market has been on our mind for a long time now. When the market association approached us to do something to increase their footfall, as the market was in bad condition, we thought using colourful street art can be the best way to develop this market,’ OP Mishra, NDMC's director (Projects) said.

‘This is the second phase of the refurbishing project, and we plan to restore all other arterial markets around Connaught Place. We have hired an architecture to restore Gole market to its original glory,’ he added.

Bringing out art from the closed and plush confines of art galleries to the public places is what DSA has been doing, and according to Yogesh Saini, by the end of the project, Shankar Market will offer a ‘continuous cultural feast’ to the public.

‘The aim is to convert this market into “rainbow street”,’ Saini, the brain behind DSA, said.
‘We had given the artists guidelines and used themes like music, culture, food and dance to attract the attention of people, especially younger audience,’ he added.

As the first flour blocks of the market were painted Saturday and Sunday, Saini aims to paint another three blocks by next weekend. That will leave the group with one tall building which will require certain logistics preparations before they paint it.

‘There were 5-6 artists per building and we have more than 40 artists on board with us,’ he added.
According to Saini, they have also suggested the officials to add some rooftop kiosks and shops to convert it into a buzzing hang-out place.

This is the second time the DSA have collaborated with NDMC. Their first project was to paint garbage bins of the Lodhi garden which they undertook eight months back. Saini feels such initiatives help in bringing street art into the public domain and help the common man to understand art.
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