How artist Rouble Nagi adds more colour to the lives of slum dwellers in Mumbai

Rouble Nagi, an artist and social worker is changing the way slums in Mumbai look through her initiative Misaal Mumbai.

There are about 2,613 slums in India according to the 2011 Census. Stagnant water, narrow lanes, clogged drains, cramped houses and heaps of garbage are a common sight in most slums.

Rouble Nagi, a Mumbai-based artist, is on a mission to transform the way slums look in India. She has recently started an initiative Misaal Mumbai which is aimed at beautifying slums and unsightly areas with the intention to change people’s mindsets.

Rouble Nagi interacting with children belonging to slums in Mumbai.

"I want to connect to these people through art. The main aim is not to colour the walls but bring a change in their mindset," Nagi told ANI.

Also read: This NGO is serving 7,000 hot rotis every day to the poor in Kolkata

How it all began

As Rouble Nagi’s father was in the Indian Army, she got to travel all over India, due to his frequent transfers.

Rouble always wanted to serve the community through art. She started off by establishing an NGO that conducts art workshops for children throughout India. She was also involved in promoting young and talented artists in the country.

In 2012 she spearheaded a project called Paint Dharavi, where Rouble along with her team including locals and residents, painted over 285 houses across many areas in Mumbai as part of the initiative. This project later took shape as Misaal Mumbai.

The crux of Misaal Mumbai

Rouble Nagi and her team have made slums in Mumbai look more colourful.

When Rouble began working with slum dwellers as part of the Paint Dharavi initiative, she witnessed the bleak conditions in which they lived. Misaal Mumbai  ensured that slums not only looked colourful and aesthetic, but also focused on functionality by waterproofing the roofs of dwellings.

“This project isn’t about beautifying alone, it’s about making people’s lives happier. I generally tell all my friends to visit and see for themselves with or without me present. Their words come from their hearts and that is my achievement,” Rouble told Indian Women Blog.

Today, Rouble’s efforts have brought a smile on the faces of several slum dwellers in Mumbai. Their living spaces which earlier looked drab and dull have now started looking vibrant and full of colour. 

Also read: Inspired by Padman this 26-year-old man from Bareilly opens a PadBank to provide free sanitary napkins


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