Minister Vinod Tawde comes to rescue of artist stopped from painting at Bandra station

Updated: Jan 30, 2019, 17:05 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar | Mumbai

It was during these arguments that Mehta received a call from noted artist Vasudeo Kamath

Gayatri Mehta was standing on the FOB and painting the station's rafters
Gayatri Mehta was standing on the FOB and painting the station's rafters

An artist trying to capture the beauty of Bandra railway station on canvas ended up drawing fire from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) for not taking permission. Just as she was about to abandon the painting and leave the station, Maharashtra Culture Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde intervened and allowed her to finish the artwork. "On Sunday, I was standing on the footbridge and painting the marvelous old structure of Bandra station. Three RPF personnel approached me, and started interrogating me in a very rough tone," recalled artist Gayatri Mehta.

"I asked which law forbids artists from painting the station, to which they replied that I was occupying space on the pedestrian bridge and causing inconvenience. I went to the station manager's office, but a deputy there was not aware of the legalities and refused to issue or deny permission to me. I wasted an hour in this process," she added.

Gayatri Mehta

It was during these arguments that Mehta received a call from noted artist Vasudeo Kamath. After she explained what was happening, he messaged Tawde, who then intervened. "I did not know the procedure, but it is an artist's privilege to paint the city's heritage and scenic places. We are the bridge between culture and society," she said.

Gayatri Mehta, Artist
Gayatri Mehta, Artist

Minister Tawde said, "She was not aware of the official procedure, and leaving the painting incomplete would have been an insult to the artist. We can think of creating spaces for artists at vantage points outside stations wherever possible."

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Western Railway chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar said, "The RPF is tasked with decongesting FOBs. Our officers were courteous and allowed her to complete the painting on request."

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