January 23rd, 2016
Source: Neha Venkatesh
Came across an amazing thing just as my vacation was about to begin. This was on my way to Kottayam, from this quaint little town of Aluva, about 16 km from Kochi airport. These pictures are from the railway station. As I entered the station, I saw these plastic bottles hanging from the barricades between the railway tracks and colourful flowers blooming all over them. Intrigued (and with some time at hand to kill), I went to the station master, C Balakrishnan, who was kind enough to entertain my query even as he was in the middle of a discussion with Mr. Mohan, CPS, and Ms. Indu, one of his team members.
The trio informed me that this ingenious idea was the brainchild of Mr. Arun, the health inspector. This initiative may look like a simple intervention, but it addresses multiple issues. Just a small step towards ‘beautification’ of the premises, the plastic bottles were collected from the tracks by members of Ms. Indu’s team, thanks to incessant littering by travelers in trains that passed by over the last few months. China Rose is a relatively low maintenance plant, I was told, and not only does it easily withstand rough weather conditions, but is also aesthetically pleasing. This was a practically no-cost initiative, and doesn’t require significant extra effort for maintenance. Plus, an interesting way of using bottles strewn away on the tracks.
The most critical impact of this simple intervention blew me away: often, people used to cross railway tracks and that had led to an unprecedented increase in rail accidents; these plants don’t leave much space for people to cross through, thereby encouraging them to use the foot over bridge to cross over to another platform.
Ms. Indu’s team member was hard at work in the sun, clearing the railway tracks, and the entire team continues to strive to maintain cleanliness.
Kudos to the team. Couldn’t help but post this: a classic example, in my opinion, of teamwork, low-cost, simple innovative intervention that is sustainable, environment-friendly, and just amazing!