In its first-ever makeover campaign called the Navi Mumbai Makeover Campaign, the members of NETIMPACT, an organisation formed by local youths, renovated the staff waiting room at the Airoli bus depot, which was in a dilapidated condition. The campaign, brainchild of Chaitra Yadavar, one of the 45 members, was conceived last October, a month after the organisation was formed.
According to NETIMPACT members, who are working professionals, the idea behind the renovation was to appreciate the hard work put in by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) staff, providing bus transportation services to the public. Currently, 18 NMMT staff members, including bus drivers and conductors, are stationed at the Airoli bus depot.
‘It’s an experiment’
Elaborating on the campaign, Chaitra said, “The makeover at the Airoli bus depot was an experiment. It was done to gauge NMMT staff’s reaction and whether the venture can be pursued further. Also the question is will this help NMMT officers to look into the sorry state of affairs at their bus stops and depots? It wasn’t easy to convince the staff that the sole objective behind this work was to express gratitude and show appreciation towards NMMT workers. It took me almost two months to secure permission from the officials and another couple to raise funds for the renovation work. We collected almost Rs 10,000 and most of the donors were not even from Navi Mumbai.”
Prabhat Kumar, organisation head, NETIMPACT, said, “Looking at the condition of the waiting room, we decided to renovate it. While it was an uphill task seeking permissions, we enjoyed what we did and finished the work in two days. We repaired the fan, painted the room and an NMMT bus on one of the walls.”
Ramrao Khade, president of Bahujan Adhikari Sangh, a union comprising drivers and conductors, said, “I drive an NMMT bus and drop in to freshen up and rest after a tiring journey. Now that the room has been renovated, it feels good to use it.” Siddharth Shirsale, an NMMT bus conductor, said, “Earlier, the room looked sad and was in a poor condition. We are thankful of these youngsters, who took the initiative and helped us.”
“It is good to know that youth from NGOs are coming forward to help NMMT. If more such help pours in, there is no harm in accepting it. Though I’m yet to check the waiting room, I will ask our estate manager to visit it soon,” G C Mangle, general manager, NMMT.