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Active Murals

Encouraging children towards creative play and active learning – mural-blackboard mash-ups provide an engaging site for customisation.

Photo of Meena Kadri
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I've been documenting talented Indian roadside graphic artists for a few years now: Most painters that I've interviewed refer to their declining trade and assignments that utilise their talents fully. This concept proposes that a group of painters are brought together in a given area (eg. Hyderbad has 3000 APS so a painter team could service participating schools that area) The Active Murals co-ordinating team would outline the initiative and appropriate educational imagery – such as animals, nature, occupations, transport and so on. They would supervise the painters in consultation with the school to devise a site specific mural scene. I imagine the murals could contain much more imagery than my quickly thrown together example here. Ideally they would include some locally relevant images – which could feature the diversity of local dress, trades, transport, trees, landmarks, etc.

Silhouettes of certain things would be painted in blackboard paint so that children could ongoingly interact with the mural. Alongside pure creative play, children could also be prompted to participate in more focused activities as part of lessons. eg. Body silhouette: a) write body parts in the correct places. b) write as many verbs as they can think of that the figure could do – run, hop, jump, etc) c) draw clothing then describe in English – 'green trousers', 'blue buttons', etc. Ideas for these activities could be presented as a set of cards / a fan deck / small booklet, etc to teachers. Children would also be encouraged to come up with their own games that extend their interaction beyond pure play.

Corporates (or individuals) nationwide could be engaged via an online campaign to sponsor a wall and would get to have their brand name incorporated into the mural. Sponsorship would also include supply of the activity guide. Possibly a single corporate may want to sponsor a whole area – or even the whole project nationwide (Tata, Birla, Reliance, Asian Paints, etc – are you listening?!)

Who would implement this?

  • A big company
  • A globally-based social entrepreneur
  • NGOs and Foundations


Sponsorship model (see above)

Distribution & Delivery

Active Murals Team (+ later the Activity Guide)


Schools are expected to be willing participants as they will not foot the bill yet will be involved in the planning stage. An School Engagement Session Guide could be created for the Active Murals coordinators to facilitate teacher + principal input on mural content. This would provide a sense of inclusion/ownership for the school.

Local Need. Enterprising Schools has identified key areas of need for Affordable Private Schools. What local learning need(s) does this concept address?

  • English language learning (speaking, reading, writing)


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Photo of varsha sharma

I think this is a very great idea and we should encourage our children more to these art forms

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