The love that residents of Bengaluru have for Namma Metro can be seen often, not just in terms of ridership numbers, but also in the huge turnout that any effort to beautify Metro property witnesses. While other metro projects across the country struggle with grafitti and unwanted advertisements, Namma Metro seems to have found a large group of willing volunteers to help make metro stations and piers an appealing sight to look at. On Saturday March 24 2018, senior employees of Intel India chose to spend their weekend morning painting the Indiranagar metro station. BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain too was spotted trying his hand at it. “If it was not a working day for me, I would have spent half a day here. So much fun!” he said.
“So far, we have seen participation by several companies, citizen groups and others. We are always open to the idea of companies contributing to metro stations as it is a public property and should have a pleasing ambience. In the past, design schools have also worked on individual projects in the Cubbon Park and MG Road metro stations,” said U.A. Vasanth Rao, Chief Public Relations Officer, BMRCL.
Jitendra Chaddah, Senior Director, Strategy and Operations at Intel India said, “It is great to feel that our Saturday has been spent doing something good for society. It also created a nice camaraderie among our employees. Our staff is very happy with the platform that we have created for this voluntary activity.”
The process for anyone who is interested to pitch in is simple. Design ideas can be submitted to BMRCL who will then review them to ensure that they are completely neutral to any connotations to caste, creed or other offensive material. BMRCL then puts the volunteers in touch with the ‘Ugly Indians’, a group which is widely known in the city for their anonymity as well as their spotfixes in many areas. “If any company wants to paint, they can mail me at email@example.com and we can arrange the tie-up with the ‘Ugly Indians’,” he said.
The decision to get groups involved in creating art for Namma Metro began with Peenya station a few years ago and spread quickly with groups like the ‘Ugly Indians’. Even students from government schools are participating in painting. What started purely as an effort to get rid of the boring grey colour of concrete, quickly grew into an effort to involve local communities and making them take pride in Namma Metro.