More than 15 lakh people participated in a nationwide shramdaan organized by the Indian Railways on 17th September, 2019, as a part of the ongoing, nationwide Swachhata Hi Seva 2019.
Chairman Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav himself led the shramdaan, along with Members of Rolling Stock, Traffic, General Manager of Northern Railway and other senior officers of the Railway Board and Northern Railway at New Delhi Railway Station. Charitable Organizations such as SNCF lent their support to the programme.
Similar activities were carried out at all Zonal Railway HQs and Divisions under the guidance of General Managers and Divisional Rail Managers and at various stations with participation from railway men, pensioners, NGOs/Charitable organizations (SNCF, Brahmkumaris, Gayatri Pariwar, Sulabh International, Nidaan etc.) and other stakeholders. Schools around various stations participated in painting competitions.
Members of Railway Women Welfare Organizations also participated in large numbers where the event began at all locations with the administration of a Swachhata pledge and a pledge for curbing single use plastic. Shramdaan that followed included cleaning activities as well as collection of plastic waste.
Significantly, vendors were apprised of the need to eradicate single use plastic and advised to adopt alternative measures.
To enhance awareness about the ill-effects of plastics on environment and animals, a Nukkad Natak was organized as part of the IEC activities. Cloth bags which will be used as replacement to plastic bags were also distributed to passengers and stall owners. In addition, digital museums were utilized to create awareness about use of bio-toilets, hazards of plastic waste and benefits of cleanliness. Tree plantation was also done at various railway premises. Officers and other staff of the Railways enthusiastically tweeted about their efforts.
In a first, the Western Railways has installed a PET bottle crushing machine in the LHB pantry car. Capable of handling 3000 bottles per day, the machine can enable recycling of 90% of PET waste bottles of 200 ml-2.5 litre size. This can reduce the carbon footprint and at the same time prevent littering.
The Western Railways has also put up selfie points at Churchgate and Andheri stations with the message – Beat Plastic Pollution, asking commuters to tweet their selfies in the comment section towards a Swachh Bharat. Similar selfie points will be provided at Borivali, Bandra and Mumbai Central stations to make people aware of the ban on plastics-less than 50 microns.
Meanwhile the Konkan Railway Corporation conducted a cleanliness drive at stations of Veer, Ukshi, Vaibhavwadi and Nandgaon Road; and Northeast Frontier Railways worked towards building awareness on the need to avoid single use plastics, conveying the message through a street play near NF Railways headquarters.
On the other hand, the Central Railways organized a prabhat pheri at Kalaburagi station that saw the participation of railway staff, contract labourers, RPF staff and others. A swachhata pledge was administered by the Station Manager, followed by cleanliness activity.