This brilliant experiment at a railway station in Kerala is both aesthetic and pragmatic

Image courtesy: Venkatesh

Neha Venkatesh saw something interesting and beautiful at the railway tracks on the Aluva railway station near Kochi. A long string of dumped bottles were taken and decorated with flowers and made to hang near the tracks.

As any curious person would do, she enquired with the Station Master as to why this was done and the motive behind the experiment turned out to be benevolent as well as aesthetic.

Neha has shared the full story on Facebook, which you should totally read, to know what creative art is and that there are no limitations of space to use your ideas, that serve both beauty and benefit.

Here is the Facebook post by 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.

Image courtesy: Venkatesh
Image courtesy: Venkatesh

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 travellers 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 esthetically 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.

Image courtesy: Venkatesh
Image courtesy: Venkatesh

The most critical impact of this simple intervention blew me away: often, people used to cross railway tracks and that had led to an unprecented 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!

Mithun Sridharan, would like to know your thoughts on this.

Disclaimer: Everything stated here is based on my conversation in broken English interspersed with a lot of the local language (and not researched at all). Please excuse factual inaccuracies, if any.

Something can be made out of anything. And when it’s such as this idea, which has turned out to be both beneficial and beautiful, it’s time we too start mulling over a few ideas for our own premises.

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