• empowering  lives  through  art



    Art room utilizes the medium of art to empower children and women of marginalized communities. We believe that exploring, expressing and exchanging ideas through art creates confidence and stimulates personal growth. Art room promotes a unique and fun community participatory approach which enables the community to take control over their lives.


    broken image

    art room  :  a  safe  space

    Mission: art + activism = social change

    Dharavi, Mumbai


    The absence of positive educational and extracurricular activities for children in marginalized communities leads to lack of safe spaces and resources with which to explore personal and neighbourhood issues through artistic mediums. This narrows exposure and communication between groups in society, perpetuating negative stereotypes and constraining opportunities to shape one’s life


    our vision : an inclusive society where the least powerful members use art as a medium of engagement to learn, create and share and take initiative in transforming their own lives


    broken image

    Breathing Art

    Mission: breathe in art=breathe out life=breathe in life=breathe out art

    Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Darjeeling


    All children are artists. The problem is how to remain artists once we grows up.


    Through workshops and exhibitions, Art Room creates self sustained community centres in neighbourhoods undergoing forceful change to explore storytelling through art.

    We work with children from families that struggle to afford even low tuition. The children in these families are already accustomed to looking into darkness. All children, even infants, already know that life can be hard and unfair, that pain, hunger, and fear are facts of existence. They know this from the moment they emerge into this world. We cannot protect them from this because there is no innocence to preserve, just knowledge to suppress. If anyone is "innocent" in all of this, or perhaps willfully ignorant, it is we "civilized" adults, who strive to push all the icky-ness to the margins, to box it up in the dark corners of our minds, to pretend it doesn't exist.
    When we seek to protect them, more often than not we only succeed in causing them to doubt their instincts about the world, replacing them with our fears.
    When a child continues beyond our conception of beauty into the miasma of gray, s/he is exploring the places where we in our false innocence rarely go any longer. Where we bemoan the "loss" of a masterpiece, the place where professional artists have learned to stop, s/he is using beauty as a passageway to truth. And truth is the beating heart of education.


    broken image

    Mission: female liberation

    Dharavi, Mumbai


    • 'Ladies Only~ Stories For All',                                                                       Photography workshop for women from Dharavi. An attempt to deconstruct the male gaze as well as the racist, casteist and classist realities the images taken in Dharavi seem to portray. Most importantly a journey into understanding and celebrating womanhood and claiming a space not just for surviving but for being and for thriving. The proceeds from the sales of the photographs are shared with the participating women.
    • Paper Craft,                                                                                               Brings out the creativity of the women in Dharavi. By upcycling paper women make various things like jewellery, bags, baskets and much more. It is during these workshops the women make lasting friendships as well as entrepreneurial partners. Proceeds from the sales of the merchandise designed and made through the project are shared with all the participating women.


    For more information on the Ladieswallahs project and / or to contribute by buying the merchandise visit : the ladieswallahs blog


    broken image

    Mission: art + play = masterpieces

    dharavi, prabhadevi, worli, lower-parel


    • Making School Cool:                                                                       Children need to play, it is vital for their physical and emotional development and for their social learning. The idea of a play-based education challenges the conventional wisdom about what teaching is. The teacher's role in a play-based model (sometimes referred to by more academic sounding names like "inquiry-based" or "experienced-based") is to, in effect, create an environment in which children can freely engage with materials, ideas, and people. That is to play with them, and from that play construct their own, personalized education.


    • Chota Scholar:                                                                                           Five Chota Scholars are picked amongst the children every year, these scholars are those children who are exceptionally bright but are at the verge of dropping out owing to critical finances at home.

    To know more about the schoolwallahs program and / or to sponsor a chota scholar visit : the schoolwallahs blog

    broken image

    chota library 

    (neighbourhood reading rooms and  archive)

    Mission: books +stories = stories of our own

    Dharavi, Bandra


    Neighborhood Reading Room:                                                                   Books and reading spaces help draw people from their homes, encourage them to linger together, and engage with neighbors in a way that supports and builds community.


    Neighbourhood Archive:                                                                                  To give a sense of what was, what is, and what has changed in the neighbourhood the chota library serves as an archive of documents created by the people in the neighbourhood


    For more information on our chota libraries and / or to donate books, bookshelves or to support the chota library visit : the chota library blog


    broken image

    Mission: taking images=documenting realities

    Delhi, Mumbai


    The world from a kid's eye view: in a time when so much is changing, now more than ever in the life of most of these neighborhoods, it might be said that things will never be the same again. Our aim is to create a document of life in a given neighborhood at a given time.


    As part of our sharing the images and opening up the dialogue, we put up exhibitions of images at various street sites.


    To know more about the photowallahs project and / or to donate cameras visit : the photowallahs blog

    broken image

    Mission: our walls + our images = spaces reclaimed

    Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai


    Muralswallahs is about making people work together to beautify their communities and giving others, especially children in neighbourhoods undergoing forceful change, a unique hands-on experience. They are guided to successfully create a large-scale work of art that they can visit time and again. The way these neighbourhoods are built and how they function socially strike us as very beautiful. At the same time they are generally perceived as grim, dangerous and dysfunctional. Visual beautification and positive attention boost pride and self-esteem and help bridge social gaps in a creative and artful manner. This project creates a voice for the inhabitants, influence public opinion and media, helps change perception and remove stigma.


    To know more about the muralswallahs project and / or to support the project visit : the muralswallahs blog



    broken image

    Mission: breathe in music = breathe out peace

    Dharavi, Mumbai


    The musicwallahs project brigs music to the lives of children in Dharavi. We believe that no child should be deprived of access to music education. Music is food for the soul, it inspires imagination and, creativity, brings joy and hope, as well as other significant social and intellectual benefits. Through music, children can find a way to express their emotions and channel their energies into something positive and creative.


    To know more about the musicwallahs project and / or support the project visit: the musicwallahs blog


    art room stands for creativity, cheerfulness, fun, happiness, imagination, positivity and change.

    broken image


    Chief Hug Officer

    If there's anything she likes more than hugs its animals, is pursuing a doctoral degree in social work from TISS.

    gets high on sugar.

    say hello here

    broken image


    High Five Guru

    A JJ graduate in fine arts, specializes in making zines and high fiving every child in view. 

    Gulabjamuns are his weakness.

    say hello here


    JOIN US!

    • become our fundraising wizard and help us spread the good word.
    • share with us your time and ideas
    • organize fund-raisers to help us with our programs

    click here to join us in our initiatives now




    100% of the proceeds from our sales go towards sustaining our programs, go on now shop guilt free.




    please note that we are eligible to only accept donations made by Indian Nationals with a valid PAN card

    • write a cheque to 'Art Room Foundation' and send it to, Al's tattoo studio, Opp. St.Peter's Church Hill Road, Bandra West. 400050 Mumbai, Maharashtra. 


    • to make an online transfer to our account, please write to   dharaviartroom@gmail.com



    Please click here to fill a donor detail form when you make a contribution. It is illegal for auditing purposes for non profits to accept anonymous donations.




    • Al's Tattoo Studio,  Mumbai.
    • Artspiration- School of Drawing and Painting, London
    • Something like Summer, Mumbai
    • Be the Local, Mumbai
    • I-Chess Chemicals, Mumbai
    • Le plaisir, Pune
    • Mumbai Magic, Mumbai
    • The Hive, Mumbai
    • Unltd India, Mumbai
    • Wetheppl, Mumbai - Toronto
    • Nor Black Nor White, Mumbai - Delhi - Toronto
    • Books on Toast, Mumbai
    • Atma Education, Mumbai
    • Chatterjee and Lal Gallery


    You're awesome. We're awesome. Let's talk.

    broken image



    dharavi art room


    broken image





    broken image





    broken image





    broken image





    broken image



    dharavi art room