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This Southern Railways workshop in Tiruchy turns scrap into art

The workshop has sculptures of a lion, vintage car, vintage aircraft, dinosaur, bull, deer, horse, giraffe, Eiffel Tower, Pegasus and many other sculptures.

Published: 30th August 2021 09:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2021 09:43 AM   |  A+A-

Sculptures showcased at the Golden Rock railway workshop at Ponmalai in Tiruchy. All these are made from the scrap discarded from the workshop. (Photo - MK Ashok Kumar | Express)

Express News Service

TIRUCHY: Engineers, workers and trainees in Southern Railway's Golden Rock workshop in Ponmalai have, for the past three years, been utilising their leisure time to create space for more greenery and eco-friendly initiatives at the workshop. Their efforts have now changed the environment around the workshop, making it a place where creativity and nature co-exist.

After reading about South African artist Marco Cianfanelli's remarkable sculpture of Nelson Mandela, the Golden Rock workshop team tried to play with optics and perspective to create a similar 3D artistic marvel, which displays the face of late President APJ Abdul Kalam and Mahatma Gandhi. The highlight is that this perspective 3D illusion sculpture, installed near the West Gate entrance of the workshop displaying the face of Kalam and Gandhi, is made from  scrap discarded at the workshop.

"Our Chief Workshop Manager (CWM) Shyamadhar Ram asked us to come up with creative and eco-friendly initiatives that can motivate employees, trainees and others visiting the workshop. So, every shop or department started coming up with different initiatives and we created many sculptures from the scrap. For designing a sculpture, we would first select a picture of a vintage car, aircraft or something from various platforms. Then, we will show it to Ram and inform him that our team wants to create it from scrap material. Once he approves it, we will start working on it," a senior officer of the workshop said.

Now, the workshop has sculptures of a lion, vintage car, vintage aircraft, dinosaur, bull, deer, horse, giraffe, Eiffel Tower, Pegasus and many other sculptures. The workshop recently opened a Sculpture Park and installed some of the sculptures there.

Shyamadhar Ram said all these were done to motivate employees and to spread the importance of recycling. "We want to encourage employees, trainees and others to come up with more recycling options. We are glad that our team came with so many impressive endeavours like sculpture park. We showcased some of the sculpture models at the Trade Fair exhibition of the Tamil Nadu government held in 2019. We got a good response from several people," he said.

Some of the trainees also said that working with the sculpture models was a great experience.

"It is not easy to build a giraffe or Pegasus from scrap. The challenge is to create a sculpture from discarded locking levers, wire, ropes, washers, springs, motor covers, cooling fans, lifting hooks and other scrap material. Sometimes, the welding would not bind together. Therefore, you have to try it multiple times to make it successful. But, this experience would help you sharpen your skills in welding and creativity. Therefore, it is a great experience," a trainee at the workshop said.

Apart from these, the workshop also took steps to increase green cover. In the last one year, it has planted about 5,715 saplings. There is also a Miyawaki garden and herbal garden inside the workshop. The herbal garden inside the workshop has 325 saplings of 25 varieties of plants like Amirthavalli, Nilavembu, Brinji, Amla and Tipli. The workshop has also established a micro-compost facility for handling bio-waste from its canteen. The compost is used in its garden. Apart from this, a bottle crusher was also installed in the workshop.To promote coexistence with nature, it also displayed pictures of insects, birds and animals near the Peepal tree and to remind the need to protect them. It also put a slogan 'I am Peepal Tree. I provide 24x7 oxygen for all living beings in my surroundings' at the bund wall of the Peepal tree inside the workshop to remind its importance.

Shyamadhar Ram said, "Everything, be it a small insect or bird, has its importance in nature. Thus, we displayed photos of birds, insects and animals to remind everyone that they are also part of this environment. Therefore, we have to protect them. In fact, we are now planning to plant about 20,000 Bheema bamboos. The speciality of this plant is that a group of five grown Bheema bamboo trees can give oxygen required for one person for his entire life. So, we have about 4,000 employees in our workshop and each employee will plant five Bheema bamboo trees."



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