Mahindra Lifespaces’ First Urbanscaping Initiative at Sion Station – Giving back to the city we love!

“Next station Sion, Agla station Sheev, Pudhil station Sheev” chimed a female voice over the rhythmic sound of the train. Memories broke my reverire.  As a child who metamorphosed into a shy teenager and finally grew up to be a confident adult, I had passed Sion station countless times to visit my maternal aunt who resides in Sion till date. Waiting at Sion, to catch a train back home after a hearty Gujrati meal at my loving aunt’s, I always looked around to see thousands of faces busy to get somewhere. Trains arrived and left the station bringing with them commuters looking forward to getting home or on their way to work.

The Maximum city Mumbai, known for its pace & endeavour to walk that extra mile, runs on a lifeline fondly called as Mumbai Local. Millions of commuters like me board the trains everyday and for us, our railway stations are a hub of activities and an integral part of our lives. We get our daily dose of news from the paper stalls on the platforms, sit on the benches to catch our breath after our journey, wait for a friend below the indicator or enjoy a chilled nimbu-paani at the refreshment centre. And what if the station of our regular commute was a sight to behold with clean surroundings, ample greenery & colorful art…wouldn’t that add a sparkle?    

Recently, when I heard that Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited (MLDL), the real estate and infrastructure development arm of the Mahindra Group, had joined hands with Central Railways and NGO Die Hard Indian to launch an initiative called “Mumbai Sparklers”, I was intrigued. When I learned that the initiative aimed at restoring and beautifying public spaces was going to give a colorful makeover to Sion station, I was overjoyed!!!  Off I went to Sion station to witness the proceedings and let the story unfold brush by brush :)

From being a station where trains halted in the early years of Bombay Railways to fill waters in the engines, Sion has come a long way. Originally named Sheev, which means boundary in Marathi, the station separated Mumbai from Salsatte. Over the years, Sion has continued to retain its importance separating the areas beyond it into Suburban Mumbai….and it was now going to get more colorful!!!!

On that busy Friday afternoon, when I reached Sion station, the ‘Mumbai Sparklers’ team, comprising Mahindra Lifespaces employees, Central Railways representatives, local community members and NGO Die Hard Indian led by Gaurang Damani, were already busy with colors and brushes. It was a beautiful sight to see volunteers young and old from multiple walks of life come together to for a common cause. A few volunteers were busy in cleaning activities. Armed with paint brushes dipped in vibrant colours,  volunteers engaged in wall painting, depicting everyday scenes from life  in Mumbai - the busy dabbawaala (my favorite), the traffic cop with his whistle, the famous rickshaw, the iconic letters of “Bollywood” and more.  Curious commuters and passersby slowed down to gaze at the painting in progress and I saw appeciative glances everywhere.  A little ahead, some volunteers were busy planting saplings and some young kids were painting the fences surrounding the saplings. Somehow that made me think of how in a few days the saplings would grow into something strong and beautiful just like these kids!!!

The #MumbaiSparklers Volunteers Wall Painting at Sion Station, Mumbai

Suddenly there was a buzz as Anita Arjundas, Managing Director, Mahindra Lifespaces, entered the station and lent a hand to the ongoing activities along with Dr. Alok Badkul, Senior Divisional Commercial Manger (DCM), Central Railways. When Mr. J P Singh, RPF (Railway Protection Force) inspector of Dadar division took the brush and started coloring the much-loved Traffic Cop, there was cheering all around.

Anita Arjundas- MD, Mahindra Lifespaces at the Event.

Mr. J P Singh, RPF Inspector Dadar Station at the Event. 

Later while speaking about the initiative, Anita Arjundas summarized this colorful initiative “Public spaces are an important part of city life.  I’m delighted that Mahindra Lifespaces, through Mumbai Sparklers, along with Die Hard Indian and the Central Railways, has today taken up the Urbanscaping of Sion Railway Station.  The Mumbai Sparklers Urbanscaping initiative is representative of our ongoing efforts to promote urbanization best practices that leverage community participation to collectively nurture the future of our cities.”

By the end of a busy day that the Mumbai Sparklers spent beautifying one of Mumbai’s oldest and busiest railway stations, Sion Station had radically improved its aesthetic appearance.  The day will be etched in my memory forever, as an example of what communities can achieve when they come together to take better responsibility of their public spaces.


  1. Paint added color to Sion Station and your very engaging description of the activity has added glitter to it. WAY to Go Mumbai Sparklers!!


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