Gaurang Damani an electrical engineer by profession adopted King’s Circle Railway Station in Mumbai and within a few months changed the way it looked. The changes in the station are drastic and obvious.
Visit King’s Circle Railway Station in Mumbai and you’ll be a surprised to see—spick and span corners, nicely painted walls, well-lit entrances, and beautiful plants. For the first time ever in the country, Indian Railways gave the go-ahead to a non-profit venture, die hard Indian, to adopt a railway station and take charge of its beautification process.
The team started with picking the dirtiest spot and making it spic and span. The man behind the project is Gaurang Damani, an electrical engineer with a social conscience. “I would file various complaints about the bad condition of the railway stations. One day, the Ministry approached me and asked me to take up this project. I was thrilled,” Damani says.
He started his ambitious project in December 2014, and the first thing he did was identify the dirtiest spot in King’s Circle Station. After every corner of the Station had been cleaned, Damani moved on to ensure that the space was well-lit—29 bright lights were installed on foot over bridges. The next step was to beautify the station—100 saplings were planted in and around the area to provide some pleasant greenery. In order to prevent people from spitting on the walls, Damani got a few artists to do some beautiful wall paintings. Thanks to this initiative, spitting on the walls has come down by 99 per cent.
Damani’s team also pasted informational posters and banners at the station to spread awareness about cleanliness, safety and hygiene. They lifted debris and did overall cleaning of the platform, apart from fixing potholes and placing dustbins at various locations.
Over 550 volunteers from different organisations, schools and colleges showed up to extend their support to transform the station. They engaged youth in their activities who participated by painting the walls beautifully.
Die hard Indian, Damani’s NGO, has now taken on the responsibility of maintaining the work that was done at the station. The changes in the station are drastic and obvious.
When Damani started working on this project, he faced various challenges too. The biggest hurdle was dealing with a non-cooperative public. The station is a busy place and keeping track of all the problems in different areas was difficult.