Pols in Ahmedabad highlight the city’s rich tradition and bring forth innovations such as cluster housing and interconnecting small passageways, while legends associated with each one make it a distinctive location to visit. However, after learning about the uniqueness of the city’s living legacy while enrolled in an architecture degree, a couple of young people wanted to help to making Pols look more dynamic.
In the last six months, 30 CEPT University students participating in second and third year courses visited Pols to learn more about them, stories related with them, lives, and so on. They then set about beautifying parts of their walls and telling the Pol’s stories through pictures. A group of CEPT students participated in the Plus Minus Collective initiative, which was launched by architecture student Kaywan Gogri, and adorned the Pols.
Sevka Ni Vadi, Desai Ni Pol, Akha Bhagat Chowk, Dhobi Ni Pol, Sheth Ni Pol, Ganga Dhiya ni Pol, and Chowk near Fernandes Bridge are the six Pols involved in the programme.
“I grew up in the city but had little knowledge about Pols.” Knowing every detail was interesting. However, many people are unaware of this, so I reached out to kids in my batch and discussed the idea of writing graffiti to express their own tales,” Gogri explained. Other students who worked on the idea from the start included Simran Mashruwala, Ninad Shroff, Mitali Vadher, and Madhav M. About a dozen more students volunteered to help with the endeavour.
Gogri stated that the efforts began six months ago and concluded during Diwali, when they drew, painted graffiti on the walls of Pols, and worked all night in camp tents to beautify the area.
“We were moved by the affection and closeness of the folks of Sevka Ni Vadi.” People think there is a tunnel beneath the ground near Ganga Dhiya ni Pol that extends far and joins the Ganga river. “We were attracted by it and attempted to incorporate it into the graffiti,” he explained.
Prashant Bhandge, a Seth Ni Pol native, claims that his family has lived in the Pol for the past 90 years. “We chose to have graffiti on our house’s outer wall since I liked the design.” Also, having colourful graffiti attracts people’s attention and makes it stick out amid the aged walls of the surrounding houses,” he explained.
“We chose graffiti on our house’s exterior wall since I liked the design. Furthermore, the presence of colourful graffiti distinguishes it from other walls”, Prashant Bhandge, a Seth Ni Pol inhabitant stated.