Paintings by disabled artists will be put up on coaches on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad line
Soon, if you are travelling on one of India’s express trains, you may have an alternative to looking out of the window or at your phone screen: you can appreciate some very special art.
These are paintings made by disabled artists using brushes held with their feet or mouths.
The railway coaches will show off the prints of acrylic and oil paintings depicting station scenes, natural scenery, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi.
Western Railway has launched the project with around 40 paintings in the First Class compartments — seven chair cars and one executive chair car — of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express. The plan is to extend it to other Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto trains. If passengers appreciate the art, the scheme will find a place in other trains.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mukul Jain, Divisional Railway Manager, WR, said, “Our intention is to make the journey for passengers more interesting and at the same time collaborate for a cause. In this case, our association is with the Indian Mouth and Foot Painting Artists [IMFPA].” The pictures displayed in the coaches are not originals but high-quality digital prints purchased from IMFPA at prices starting from ₹1000, depending on the canvas size. The prints bear the name of the artist and a small message alongside.
“This is for the first time that our paintings will be showcased in railway coaches,” Paresh Padia, Senior Manager, IMFPA, said. “We have given over 100 paintings now in the first phase.”
He said IMFPA has around 25 artists creating the paintings, which are sold for anything between ₹40,000 to several lakhs.
The artists are happy to earn more, and recognise that their work reaches a wider audience..