Next time you step in to Mangala Express and find it speckless, it’ll be thanks to the industrious members of Kudumbasree Mission.

In what is claimed to be a first of its kind project, Kudumbasree Mission in the district has been entrusted with cleaning trains.

“This is for the first time the Railways have roped in an outside agency for cleaning trains anywhere in the country. As a pilot project, we have been assigned Mangala Express. We have been assured of being assigned more trains if the pilot project is found successful,” Tani Thomas, district mission coordinator, Kudumbasree Ernakulam, told The Hindu.

On the job

While the project will be formally inaugurated on Saturday, Kudumbasree workers went about their task straightaway cleaning the train assigned to them at the marshalling yard near South Railway station on Friday.

Nine women and three men were engaged in cleaning the 21 compartments of the train.

Kudumbasree has been roped in for a year. Since Mangala Express is scheduled from the city daily, Kudumbasree workers will have work throughout the week under the pilot project.

The working hours have been charted between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. during the course of which they will scrub both the interior and exterior surface of the train and water wash the compartments. Railways will pay between Rs.250-Rs.300 for a day’s work to each member, Ms. Thomas said.

The idea of entrusting Kudumbasree with cleaning trains was first mooted when the Railway Divisional Manager, Thiruvananthapuram, was in the city last month to visit the Jansadharan counter operated by Kudumbasree at the district collectorate.

The pilot project will be officially flagged off by Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K.V. Thomas at Ernakulam Junction on Saturday afternoon. Hibi Eden, MLA, and district collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth will also be present.

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