Students of Government Nursing School cleaned the station premises on Friday

A campaign organised here on Friday revealed that the famed Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) was the pride of not only the residents of the Blue Mountains but also others from various places studying or undergoing training here.

Responding to a request made by the authorities of the Government Headquarters Hospital and the Heritage Steam Chariot Trust, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the welfare of the NMR, about 50 students of the Government Nursing School which functions inside the hospital took time off on Friday to spruce up the surroundings of the railway station here.

Equipped with cleaning accessories provided by the Trust they swept and cleaned various parts of the station. It was a different kind of experience but they enjoyed it and those who witnessed the voluntary service including the tourists who arrived by the Mettupalayam-Ooty passenger said ‘bravo’.

Pointing out that such an activity was taking place for the first time at the station, the Founder of the Trust K. Natarajan told The Hindu that it was a reflection of what can be achieved through local initiative. Adverting to the heritage site status of the NMR, he said that all sections of the society should help safeguard its reputation. He hoped that the gesture of the nursing students would become a trendsetter and others would volunteer to keep stations along the line like Lovedale, Ketti, Aruvankadu, Wellington, Coonoor, Hillgrove and Adderlie litter-free. Station Superintendent B. Padmanabhan said that many tourists particularly foreigners like to come here by the NMR. By keeping the stations clean the prestige of this holiday destination can be enhanced.

Joint Director of Health in-charge C. Bhoopathy said that such programmes should be organised periodically to create awareness about the need to keep public places clean.

Clean ambience

Stating that a clean ambience would not only be visually pleasing but also help keep various maladies at bay, the students said that people should avoid smoking or spitting in such places. They hoped that their contribution would galvanise others into action.