Till a few months ago, the waiting room at platform number one was covered with dust, paint peeled off its walls and each corner had stains.
The Indian and French governments had, last year, signed an agreement to upgrade infrastructure in certain railway stations. As part of this project, a French team had studied Ludhiana railway station and will submit its report to the Centre soon.
On Friday, the Ludhiana Cares Ladies Society (LCLS) along with NGO RBS Roots unveiled the renovated waiting room, after working on it for almost five months.
Adopting the theme ‘Rural India’, the walls of waiting room now depict green fields of countryside. Platform one got a splash of green with potted plants now adorning it. Railway staff and vendors on the platforms are also being trained in etiquette and cleanliness.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Harpreet Soin of LCLS said, “The aim is to improve as much as we can before the French project starts. We started with the railway station in January. We are counselling staff and vendors on how to react if they see people littering. Next will be stress management sessions for staff.”
The task was not easy, says Soin. “The waiting room was in pitiable state. There were paan spit marks in every corner, it took whole lot of efforts to get them removed. The room was not renovated since years. Now, we hope that with these beautiful paintings on the walls, people will think twice before spitting here.”
And it seems to have worked. Visitors were seen posing in front of the newly painted waiting room walls for selfies and photographs.
Anuj Prakash, divisional railways manager (DRM), Ferozepur division, Northern railways said, “This group has shown interest in adopting railway station and maintain cleanliness. We are grateful and they are most welcome. I will visit the waiting room on Saturday.”