A wall being painted in Seppa, the headquarters of Arunachal Pradesh’s East Kameng district Credit: EastMojo image

Itanagar: Like many other urban centres of the country, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh is also gradually missing its momentum of the much-hyped Swachh Bharat Abhiyan as the state capital is on the verge of becoming one of the dirtiest state capitals in the country.

However, good sense prevailed over a group of four youths of the state as they are now trying to beautify a town located in East Kameng district with their wall paintings.

One of the youths after painting the wall of the PHED executive engineer’s residence in Seppa of Arunachal Pradesh’s East Kameng district

The four youngsters — Judi Bagang, Jackie Bodo, Bruce Tallong and Thorung Bagang — have been painting the walls on the streets of Seppa, the headquarters of East Kameng district, for over a year now.

One of the paintings on a wall in Seppa, East Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh
An artist giving final touches to a wall painting in Seppa, East Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh
Another painting that adorns one of the walls in Seppa, East Kameng district
The wall paintings are being made as part of the ‘I love Seppa’ campaign

When questioned about their initiative, Judi said, “When different cities in our country are hosting events and festivals where both Indian and international artists are picking up their brushes and painting public places in bright shades, why can’t we put some effort and make our own town a little bright?”

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“We started our wall painting campaign from Pacha Primary School in Seppa, which is apparently the school where I completed my primary education,” Judi added.

A painting that adorns one of the walls in Seppa, East Kameng district

After the primary school, the four youngsters then painted the walls at the Seppa main market, the ones opposite to the higher secondary school and also at Lal Bahadur Shashtri School.

Initially, their paintings mostly spoke about flora, fauna and folklore of the state which included the portraits of hornbills, mithun (Gayal), tribal culture, etc. However, now Judi and his team are painting for awareness and also trying to send out messages related to cleanliness and other social aspects.

After noticing the initiative of the young minds, East Kameng, Gaurav Singh Rajawat met them personally and asked them to join hands with the administration’s ‘I Love Seppa’ campaign.

Accordingly, the deputy commissioner personally sponsored the paints and asked them to paint some walls of government buildings and those on the roadsides of the township.

Artists in front of a wall painting in Seppa, East Kameng district

“I Love Seppa” campaign, a brainchild of deputy commissioner Rajawat and his team, particularly focuses on cleanliness, maintenance of law and rules, support of women empowerment and girl child, abolition of drugs, ensuring cent percent immunisation and zero dropouts from schools, among others.

The main components of the campaign include — I LOVE Cleanliness, I OBEY Laws and Rules, I WANT a Beautiful Seppa, I SUPPORT Women Empowerment, I SAY No to Drugs and Tobacco, I ENSURE 100 per cent Immunization and No Malnutrition, and I WANT Zero Dropouts from Schools.

Rajawat said that though he is sponsoring the paints for now, he however, is not able to pay the youths for their service. “We want as many as walls of the township being painted, so we will come out with some provisions to pay the youths for their hard work,” Rajawat said.

The interiors of an office being painted by the group of youngsters

Judi, on the other hand, said that though their initiative is purely voluntary, at times it becomes difficult for them to shell out money for the paints and brushes as they are unemployed.

Keen to revive the lost glory of the hills, these youth are now planning to paint some walls in Itanagar too. The only hurdle is the lack of funds and some much-need push from everyone concerned.

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