Mumbai: Footwear retail chain Metro Shoes will take on the mandate of improving the livelihood of Mumbai’s shoe-shining community through its latest ‘Ek Kadam Aage’ CSR intervention.
The footwear brand 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 endeavour. Metro Brands Ltd. will enable these shoe shiners to improve their earning potential by training them on boot-polishing techniques, organising 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, Metro Shoes will facilitate the shoe shiner community of 150 people with customised, red water-proof boxes with separate compartments and equipment, 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.
“Mumbai’s shoe-shiners are such an integral part of Mumbai city since 1853 when the first suburban railways were inaugurated here. We at Metro Brands Ltd. 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. Through our ‘Ek Kadam Aage’ CSR intervention, we look forward to empowering this community and bettering their lives and working conditions,” said Deepika Deepti, Sr. Vice President – Marketing, Metro Brands Ltd.
Metro Brands has joined hands with social impact innovator and implementor, The Social Lab (TSL) for this project. TSL envisages social change through an integrated holistic approach that entangles data science, technology, research, empirical formulation, and management techniques.
“We are honoured 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, Chief Executive Officer, The Social Lab (TSL).
“I would like to thank Metro Brand Ltd and The Social Lab (TSL) for conceptualising and implementing this project. I still see that many shoe shiners still sit in and around the railway stations in Mumbai, work day in and day out and earn 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), Railway and Coal Minister while addressing the gathering during the distribution ceremony.
Ashish Shelar – Member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Shri Kantji. Adrm operation and business Mumbai Central, Aziz Fidai Metro Brands Ltd, Sunil Mishra senior DCM. Sanjay Sharma, ADRM Mumbai Central, Sahil Arora Chief Executive Officer, The Social Lab (TSL), and Adesh Gupta Director TSL also graced the distribution ceremony.