Chiselling a brand new world

Chiselling a brand new world

Chiselling a brand new world

The officials with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) are not only channelising their time and talent to offer better connectivity to Bangaloreans, but also using the space below the Metro pillars creatively. Determined not to waste a single square inch, they have consciously converted these spaces into something creative.

Their latest initiative aims at getting people out of their houses, setting aside their mundane lives for a moment and doing something innovative. This gives everybody, irrespective of their age and gender, a chance to get wacky with their ideas.

Vasanth Rao, general manager, finance, taxation and resources, BMRCL, points out, “In pursuit of this objective, we are constantly on the lookout for community participation in creative expression — as creators, teachers, consumers and supporters. We want meaningful collaborations with art institutions and organisations in the City that support community development in the field of performing and visual arts and culture.”

BMRCL chose to join hands with ‘Workbench Project’ because they do well in engaging communities regardless of social classes, gender or age to find creative solutions for individual or collective needs.   

Vasanth observes that people depend on others for the smallest of things like fixing a tap. “Through this initiative, we indirectly promote the ‘Do it Yourself’ (DIY) concept. The urge for an independent solution to small problems like fixing a leaking tap or repairing a motorcycle is the basis of the current re-emergence of DIY philosophy,” he adds.

The BMRCL authorities hope to run this programme for as long as they can. What if they run out of topics? “We can never run out of topics. Just imagine the number of things you need to fix in a house. Many a time, you do not know where to go or whom to call to get them repaired. Picture yourself as someone who can do these things. It will contribute to your family’s self-sufficiency besides saving a considerable amount of time and money. The DIY concept fills this knowledge gap eminently,” he shares. 

Vasanth clarifies that the BMRCL does not run these projects. They only facilitate them by partnering with the right kind of resource people. “BMRCL is not a funding agency and all such partnerships should be based on a self-sustaining model. We have created two urban spaces — the Rangoli Metro Art Centre at MG Road Metro Station and the Bangalore Haat at Swami Vivekananda Road Station and are open to the idea of partnering in arts, culture and other creative expressions,” explains Vasanth.

Anupama Prakash, co-founder of ‘Workbench Project’, informs that the first ‘Workbench Project’ initiative with the BMRCL was about creating something out of wood. “There will be five or six such initiatives that will be held at the Metro station every fortnight. The next one will be to build a window farmhouse. The idea is to give people raw materials and encourage them to build something,” explains Anupama.

She states that the events will encourage people to collaborate, negotiate, interact and work together. She states that some of the other events lined up include building a phone charger for bikers, electronic gadgets, automobiles and 3D printing.  

Those who have been a part of this event are thrilled that the BMRCL has come up with a novel idea that inspires people to come out of the mall culture. Lakshmi Bhavani, an employee with HAL, says,
“It’s nice to work with machines and tools. It is not something that you do on a daily basis.

It teaches you to be patient.” Kanchana Arni, a businesswoman, observes, “This initiative encourages you to use your resources effectively without having to depend on anybody. This helps at a time when it is difficult to find labour and when the available labour is unreasonably expensive.”

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