Artreach India

Artreach India’s mission is to reach children and young people living in marginalised communities across India and transform their lives through art. 

​We work with contemporary and traditional Indian and international artists and partner with NGOs, schools, foundations and museums. Our volunteer residency programme results in lively murals painted by children in their homes; our Teaching Fellowship funds artists to work with groups of young people in care; we support long-term community projects and interventions, often in difficult conditions like homeless shelters, where artist facilitators use art to foster community cohesion; we lead a series of workshops bringing mainstream and marginalised children together, this year at the Crafts Museum.

Our first project in 2010 was with the children of the New Delhi railway station who come every day to a Salaam Baalak Trust 'contact point' for food, medical attention and basic schooling.  We wanted to help give their space a face lift and to ‘catch their imaginations’. With Alexis Halliwell at the helm we embarked on ten days of exuberant creative activity.  Children’s tired faces would light up with delight as they walked in to the centre, clocked what was happening and entered the fray with paint brush or roller.  Sometimes they just couldn’t stop and the paint overflowed, on to the cooler or the ceiling, on to each other.  Anyone was welcome to join in: teachers and social workers, passing police men.

Urdu Park Axial Margins
New Delhi
India

An ongoing project (April 2015 - ) with the homeless women in the SPYM shelter in Urdu Park, Jama Masjid. 

Urdu Park has a large population of homeless people. Sreejata works with a group of about 16 women at the shelter who exist on as little as Rs. 300 a week, earned through begging. They have been abandoned by families and partners and are singly raising several children. The women and their children live in destitute conditions.

The women come from different parts of the country, and with Sreejata they have explored how the women negotiate changes in their lives, how they adjust to Urdu Park and its environs, and how they cope with the pressures of living life in a public space. They also look at how the women deal with shifts in personal identity, as well as their aspirations, fears, and vulnerabilities.