Indian Railways receives a lot of flak for its lack of cleanliness, however, it is one of the most vital service that connects India at affordable cost and available within reach to almost all citizens. It is worth noting that the Indian government has taken efforts to improve the cleanliness of stations and trains. As per a report published in 2007 by the Indian Railways, Chennai Central and Secunderabad were awarded 183 points out of a maximum of 300 for cleanliness, the highest in the country. Let us take a sneak peak into the two of the oldest and busiest railway stations of India.
The Chennai Central, earlier Madras Central is one of the most prominent landmarks of Chennai. The 142-year-old building was designed by architect George Harding that opened it in the year 1873. Chennai Central serves as a symbolic landmark for people in South India as this station served as the main gateway for all people who travelled to South India during the British times. About 350,000 passengers use the terminus every day. The entire complex has 15 platforms to handle long-distance trains with 3 platforms exclusively for suburban trains.
The Secunderabad railway station was built in 1874 by the Nizam of Hyderabad during the British era, this station was the main station of the Nizam’s Railway. The station building resembles a fort and is a tourist attraction in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The station is well connected by rail to all parts of India. 229 trains arrive at, or depart from, the station, daily, transport over one lakh sixty thousand (160,000) passengers daily to their destinations across the country. In recent years, the railways have proposed to upgrade it into a world-class station, with emphasis on vertical expansion of the complex. In 1966, the South Central Railway was formed with Secunderabad as its headquarters. Secunderabad Railway Station is one of the biggest and busiest railway stations in the Indian railway system.
It is the 21st century and India is developing rapidly, however, the pace of development in rural and urban India is varying due to the lack of accessibility and opportunities in rural India. While children in these areas have limited access to quality education leading to unemployment and social exclusion, women are still at the back seat of household decision making and contribution to household income.
To break through the traditional norms and empower women in rural India is an ongoing endeavor. Project Nand Ghar, spearheaded by Vedanta Group, a globally diversified natural resources company, brings a ray of hope to rural India by providing education, nutrition, and healthcare to thousands of rural children and empowering women to gain economic independence through livelihood training workshops.
Nand Ghars are state-of-the-art modern Anganwadis built across rural India with a holistic approach to child welfare and skill development for women. Trade-based skill training workshops carried out at Nand Ghars have impacted women from the remotest part of the country enabling them to earn their own livelihood.
Their recent campaign on International Women’s Day was a celebration of #BalanceForBetter where women shared their stories of discovering pathways to self-reliance with help and support by Nand Ghar.
“The outside world was a far off reality for me from inside the boundary of our house. Nand Ghar helped open up the horizons and today, I am earning a livelihood and have found a purpose in Life,” says Dharma Maurya from Varanasi.
Thousands of women like Dharma Maurya have in them the urge to do something but do not have a platform, to begin with. Nand Ghar is giving them a purpose in life and wings to their dreams. Click on the link below to explore their stories.
Anil Agarwal, Founder, and Chairman, Vedanta Group, believes that a nation can only progress if we invest in the future of children and women. Vedanta in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Child Development aims at constructing 4000 Nand Ghars across 11 states in India with the potential of impacting lives of 8.5 Cr children and 2 Cr women in rural India.
In a milestone achievement, Vedanta recently announced the inauguration of its’ 500th Nand Ghar at Chaksu Block in Jaipur. Today, 502 operational Nand Ghars across Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh are changing the lives of 17,000 children through pre-school learning imparted through advanced teaching with more than 11,000 of them being served nutritious meals every day. More than 8,000 women have obtained trade based skill training at Nand Ghar.
With more than 70% of the population living in rural India, the need for early childhood education and women empowerment cannot be undermined. The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of Vedanta which is tirelessly working towards transforming the women and child development landscape in India.