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Bengaluru street art tackles women’s safety, drug abuse, and cybercrime | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Graffiti for Hope, an initiative spearheaded by Rotary International, has brought social issues to the forefront. A stretch of wall adjacent to the Adugodi Police Station in Bengaluru is no longer a blank canvas — it is now alive with the murals of Kolkata-based artist Sayam Porey. This unique project is a collaborative effort between Rotary and the Bengaluru Police.

Project coordinator, Nivedita Dutta, envisioned an enduring, impactful method of raising awareness about women’s safety, drug abuse, and cybercrime — three of the most pressing issues identified by the Bengaluru Police. “Street art sticks in people’s minds long after an event or campaign has faded away,” she explains, “We chose this art form specifically to reach Bangalore’s large youth population.”

Sayam’s murals are intentionally jarring. “I want people to feel something, even if it’s uncomfortable,” he says. His depiction of a woman’s tear-streaked face is a visceral reminder of domestic violence. A hunched figure surrounded by a syringe illustrates the devastating grip of addiction. He adds, “It’s the same concept behind those graphic anti-smoking ads. If words on a poster don’t work, maybe confronting the raw pain through art will.”

Sayam’s symbolism weaves through the murals. A hooded figure with stolen digital data illustrates the dangers of cybercrime. At the same time, a dove represents hope for a more peaceful future. He incorporates vibrant colours and geometric shapes inspired by the dynamic energy of Bengaluru itself. “I wanted the art to feel like it belonged to this city,” he says.

The public’s positive response has warmed organisers and the artist alike. Nivedita highlights the outpouring of support: “People stopped to watch, volunteer, and offered water and cane juice when they saw Sayam working under the hot sun. They shared their genuine appreciation. The project touched lives even before it was finished.”

Sayam was particularly moved by Bengaluru residents’ open-mindedness. “They’re not stuck in stereotypes; they’re evolving, their thinking is dynamic. They’re open to understanding new things. People were genuinely getting the message, accepting and understanding these difficult subjects,” he says.

He was also touched by the generosity of locals, who offered him refreshments and encouragement while he battled the intense Bangalore heat during his painting sessions.

The project also appreciates the city’s police. One mural features a hand representing victims reaching towards a supportive police hand. “People sometimes get this wrong impression about cops — that they’re all abusive or mean. But the Bangalore Police I met were humble and supportive.”

Nivedita reflects on their logistical challenges, “Introducing any new concept is difficult, especially one like graffiti, which is sometimes misunderstood. However, the positive response and support from the Bangalore Police and the public have made the effort worthwhile.”

The Graffiti for Hope project merges art, social awareness, and Bengaluru’s innovative energy. The walls of the Adugodi Police Station now stand as a potent reminder that change begins with acknowledging difficult truths and taking steps, however small, to build a brighter future for everyone in the community.

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