Metro Brands and The Social Lab launched CSR initiative ‘Ek Kadam Aage’ at Rail Nikunj Hall, Mumbai Central on Tuesday, 20th September 2022. The idea is to improve the livelihood of Mumbai’s shoe-shining community through this CSR intervention.
‘Ek Kadam Aage’ distribution ceremony
The intervention will empower shoe shiners working in Mumbai’s railway stations between Churchgate to Mahalaxmi, Malad to Kandivali, VT to Masjid Bunder and Matunga to Byculla through this endeavor. This project will enable these shoe-shiners to improve their earning potential by training them on boot-polishing techniques, organizing workshops on health and safety for them, apprising them of government benefits available for them and their families and financial literacy.
In the first phase of this transformation project, project will facilitate the shoe shiner community of 150 people with customized, red water-proof boxes with separate compartments and equipment’s, across Mumbai’s railway stations. The shoe-shiners will be provided with all the tools and accessories they need to polish repair and refurbish shoes. These kit boxes are designed keeping in mind the occupational health and safety of its user.
“I would like to thank Sahil Arora (CEO) TSL, C.A. Adesh Gupta (Director) TSL and Metro Brand for conceptualizing and implementing this project. I still see that many shoe shiners still sit in and around the railway stations in Mumbai, workday in and day out and earn the bread for their families through this work. The government has also been supporting these shoe shiners through various initiatives and the relevant government stakeholders will now work in alignment with TSL to support this cause which can help the shoe shiners in having a better future,” said Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve (MoS), Railways, Coal and Mines Minister while addressing the gathering through a video conference.
Adv. Ashish Shelar – MLA & President Mumbai BJP attended the program as Chief Guest. Mr. Shelar says, “This is a truly remarkable project for the humble shoe shiners, helping them to put ‘Ek Kadam Aage’. I am humbled to be a part of this unique and praiseworthy initiative!”
Shrikant Janbandhu (ADRM) O&BM, Sunil Mishra Senior DCM, Sanjay Sharma (ADRM) RS and Kishore Dahria (Jalnayak) were the Guest of Honour at the program. Sahil Arora (CEO) The Social Lab (TSL), Aziz Fidai Metro Brands Ltd. and Adesh Gupta (Director) TSL also graced the distribution ceremony.
Metro Brands has joined hands with social impact innovator and implementor, The Social Lab (TSL) for this project. TSL envisage social change through an integrated holistic approach that entangles data science, technology, research, empirical formulation, and management techniques. He also informed the dignitaries that TSL is executing 10 different sectors projects across India.
“We are honored to partner with Metro Brands on this project – Ek Kadam Aage – to bring back light and sunshine in the lives of Mumbai’s shoe shiners,” said Sahil Arora, CEO – The Social Lab (TSL).
“Mumbai’s shoe-shiners are such an integral part of Mumbai city since 1853, when the first suburban railways were inaugurated here. Through our ‘Ek Kadam Aage’ CSR intervention, we look forward to empowering this community and bettering their lives and working conditions.” He also announces to do the impact study of this project and the submit the report to the Ministry said C.A. Adesh Gupta, Director – The Social Lab (TSL).
“We at Metro brands are committed to empowering this skilled community of shoe shiners in improving their productivity and output, by having better tool kits. The box has everything they need to help them increase their income including the latest tools and even accessories that they can sell,” said Deepika Deepti, Sr. Vice President – Marketing, Metro Brands.
For more details, please visit tsl-india.com.