MYSURU: Rajashekar G Masali is a legal adviser at the Mandya deputy commissioner's office and visits the Mysuru railway station every week with a broom, mop and cleaning agent. In tow are 10 pourakarmikas. They diligently scrub and clean Chamundi Express train's wash basins, toilets and windowpanes of its coaches.
Masali was pained by the state of the toilets on this train, which he takes to travel to Mandya and Bengaluru regularly on work. A resident of My usru's Vivekananda Na gar, Masali's impression about the lack of train's upkeep was confirmed by a conversation be tween two passengers, who spoke of an unbearable foul smell from the loos.
On July 2, Masali -who has authored six law books -took up the cleaning operation of the train at the Mysuru station. After obtaining approval from divisional railway manager Atul Gupta and the carriage depot officer of the South Western Railway's Mysuru division, Masali hired ten pourakarmikas to help him in the campaign.
"We took up the cleaning operation twice a week -Tuesdays and Sundays.It starts around 9.30pm and ends by 4am the next day . We manage to clean all the toilets, wash basins, windowpanes in all the carriages of the train," he said.
To take his campaign to the next level, Masali prepared a questionnaire on his initiative and distributed it among passengers for a feedback. From about 1,000 replies, Masali made a personal call to 85 frequent passengers to join his campaign. "We've decided to create awareness on cleanliness among cotravellers,"he said.