‘The Streets are Our Museums’
A mini art gallery has been set up at the Anganwadi workers’ protest
Anganwadi workers have been protesting since January 31 and are adamant not to move from the protest sites till all their demands are met. From an increase in wages, grant of holidays, proper training to better working conditions, the demands of these women workers have been in the news for over a month.
To encourage and maintain the enthusiasm of protesting women, art students and members of the Progressive Artists League have come together to display their artwork and photographs. Famous artworks and paintings by Picasso and Guttuso highlighting the workers’ revolts can be seen. Sunny, 33 one of the founders of Progressive Artists League said such initiatives help in keeping the audience engaged, displaying paintings of women leaders like Savitribai Phule to highlight the strength and leadership of women through history.
Art students whose work is on display said red has become the colour of this protest, and the colour, hence, has been liberally used in the artwork. Pranjal, 21 from Delhi College of Arts, one of the artists said “red symbolises strength, power and determination of these women.”
Children of Anganwadi workers have also been encouraged to express themselves through drawing, painting and speaking. Other activities like the enactment of plays and speeches have been conducted at the protest sites.
Kusum Yadav,45 one of the volunteers at the protest site said that “we will not move from here even at night,” Arrangements have been made for the women sitting at the sites. Suman, another woman from the protest said, “the protest is our right and the government will have to bow down before our demands.”
The protest has completed a month. On February 24 Arvind Kejriwal announced an increase in wages by 3000 rupees. However the protesting women said the increase is negligible and did not adequately reflect the inflation levels.