Pl(art)form: Railway Platforms In Mumbai Are Coming Alive With Artsy Makeovers


What do you feel about the railway stations? What thoughts cross your mind when sitting on a platform? Do you ever think of making it better?

These questions crossed my mind while I was waiting at a Mumbai railway station. Curious, I asked a number of people what they thought about them. Unsurprisingly, they all happened to have the same perception. From youngsters to the elderly, to everyone the railway station appeared to be drab. They had various thoughts about how it should be improved. Railways are an important and the most frequented mode of transportation in India. The trains we travel in are getting cleaner than the platforms we get down on.

“Very badly maintained, dirty, aesthetics-wise. The spit of ‘pan’ on the walls make it ugly,”

A fellow traveller next to me said, when asked questions about the platform.

The aesthetics of railway platforms in Mumbai have been completely ignored since they were first built. However, Make A Difference (MAD) Foundation in collaboration with NGO Mumbai First, took the initiative of changing this attitude of neglect towards platforms. They started in January 2015, successfully painting the ugly canvas of Khar and Borivali stations. Turning this initiative into a public one, they also aimed on developing a better sense of civic responsibilities. The makeover project was called ‘Hamara Station, Hamara Shaan’ which aimed at beautifying 36 stations along the West and Central lines with voluntary initiative by Daan Utsav.

Calling out for volunteers, whether as talented as Picasso or not, Mumbai First’s CEO Shishir Joshi hopes for people to join in. With an active interest by the Mumbaikars, they aim to finish all 36 stations between 2nd and 8th October.

Spreading the sense of responsibility towards and importance of better aesthetics at railway stations, this initiative has inspired many. A similar kind of event was held in Pune, after the declaration of Svachh Bharat Abhiyaan (Clean India).

Here are a few glimpses into the wonderful initiative.

mumbai railways stations art

Image Courtesy: Better India


Image Courtesy: Better India


Image Courtesy: Better India

Image Courtesy: DNA India


Image Courtesy: Better India

Image Courtesy: Nebula


Image Courtesy: Better India

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