In a unique CSR initiative, Western Railway in association with TSL (The Social Lab), a CSR consultancy firm & sponsor M/s Metro Shoes launched project “Ek Kadam Aage” at Rail Nikunj, Mumbai Central on 20th September, 2022. The project is a one-of-a-kind initiative, dedicated to bettering the livelihoods of 1000 shoeshiners who work day in and out at railway stations across Western & Central Railway.
According to a press release issued by Public Relations Department of Western Railway, the project was e-launched by Minister of State of Railways, Coal & Mines, Raosaheb Dadarao Patil Danve. In a special video message to all the shoeshiners present and the people attending the event, Danve said that for the first time any organisation has come forward to train & help the shoeshiners. He emphasised that this project will be of utmost help to them and that the govt. too will take initiative to help the shoeshiner community. The event was graced by MLA Adv. Ashish Shelar, railway officers and representatives from Metro Shoes. Shelar felicitated 150 shoeshiners in the first phase of the project today and also new Metro Shoeshine Boxes were distributed among all the shoeshiners.
The project aims at skill-building of shoeshiners as shoe smith, assist them with opening bank accounts, make them financially literate to improve their financial stability, hone their multiskilling, provide healthcare & awareness about occupational hazards and equip them with First Aid Kits (Dost on Tracks). This exceptional project will touch many lives of shoeshiners who operate near stations in all climatic conditions & will help in bettering their livelihoods.