Mumbai: Students decorate Andheri station with plagiarised art

The original artist noticed the plagiarised artwork as he was passing through the station; says he was not given credit or even informed about it

Students from a Vile Parle college had wanted to beautify Andheri station with art, but now find themselves in an ugly mess, after an artist accused them of plagiarising his work.

Abhishek Panchal had originally created the illustration for a children’s activity book, with caricatures of quintessential Mumbai folk like vada pav seller, dabbawala, a Koli fisherwoman, etcAbhishek Panchal had originally created the illustration for a children’s activity book, with caricatures of quintessential Mumbai folk like vada pav seller, dabbawala, a Koli fisherwoman, etc

In an effort to give railway stations a makeover, several schools, colleges and NGOs have taken to painting the premises and decorating it with artwork. One such college is DJ Sanghvi College in Vile Parle West, which put up an illustration titled ‘Essence of Mumbai’ at one of the Foot Over Bridges (FOB) at Andheri station.

Panchal was shocked to his own artwork misappropriated by students from DJ Sanghvi College, who used the illustration to decorate an FOB at Andheri station. Pic/Prabhanjan DhanuPanchal was shocked to his own artwork misappropriated by students from DJ Sanghvi College, who used the illustration to decorate an FOB at Andheri station. Pic/Prabhanjan Dhanu

On Thursday, one of the commuters passing through on the FOB was shocked to find his own artwork staring back at him – not only had the college failed to inform him they would be using his illustration, but they even grabbed the credit for it.

Educator and visual artist Abhishek Panchal told mid-day, “I was at Andheri station after a very long time, and was shocked to see my own artwork, with no credits given. It was just credited to the NSS students of the college. How can the college take an artwork and randomly put it up in any forum without informing the artist?”

Panchal had in fact created the art for a children’s activity book – My Mumbai – as part of a cultural initiative. “The least the college could have done is give credit to the artist. This is clear plagiarism. We are writing to the college, demanding an answer,” said Shinibali Mitra Saigal, partner at Yellow Pinwheel Kids Project, which had commissioned the My Mumbai book.

More about the art
The illustration is part of an activity kit for children, called My Mumbai. It includes colouring activities themed on Mumbai’s people, transport and festivals. Each sheet has city trivia and a do-it-yourself map. It was created by 25-year-old educator and visual artist Abhishek Panchal.

The other side
Dr Hari Vasudevan, principal of DJ Sanghvi College, said, “I am aware about the activity but not about its details. However, I will immediately take up the issue and necessary action will be taken against the students.”

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