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Tuesday, December 25, 2007
T/R Achievers: Nek Chand - Converting Garbage into Rock Garden
Merry christmas to all!

In one of my previous posts, I had profiled Anita Ahuaja, who came up with the idea of recycling waste plastic bags into homemade accessories. Along the same lines, today I want to profile a 80+ year old Indian road official, Nek Chand, who has developed a beautiful garden, called Rock Garden, using waste materials.

Nek Chand worked as a public transport official and came up with the idea of developing Rock Garden about 40 years ago, while cleaning a little patch of jungle to make himself a small garden area. As per Rawvision.com:
He set stones around the little clearing and before long had sculpted a few figures recycled from materials he found at hand. Gradually Nek Chand's creation developed and grew; before long it covered several acres and comprised of hundreds of sculptures set in a series of interlinking courtyards.

After his normal working day Chand worked at night, in total secrecy for fear of being discovered by the authorities. When they did discover Chand's garden, local government officials were thrown into turmoil. The creation was completely illegal - a development in a forbidden area which by rights should be demolished.

The outcome, however, was the enlightened decision to give Nek Chand a salary so that he could concentrate full-time on his work, plus a workforce of fifty labourers. Nek Chand's great work received immediate recognition and was inaugurated as The Rock Garden of Chandigarh.
The Rock Garden is now considered as one of the modern wonders of the world and attracts over 5000 visitors each day. Nek Chand's artistic and cultural achievements are also presented in a full-color illustrative book named The Ruin, the Collection and the Theatre: archtiecture, sculpture and landscape of Nek Chand's Rock Garden, Chandigarh.

Nek Chand's story shows how an ordinary person can create extra-ordinary things if he/she is passionate about it, and how small acts can some times lead to much larger events in life.

For details, see:

Rawvision.com: Nek Chand - the untutored genius who built a paradise

Other related articles:

PBS.org: The Rock Garden, Chandigarh, India

Folkart.org: Nek Chand's Story


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posted by Ruby @ 7:56 AM  
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