This festive season, Railways staff wearing designer uniforms that reflect the spirit of the nation will welcome passengers onboard, courtesy one of India’s leading designers, Ritu Beri.
The new designs will be worn initially by staffers on a few Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains as part of Project Swarn. Railways reportedly plan to unveil the brand new look of the staff on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on October 2.
“The idea is to create uniforms that are attractive, impactful and comfortable. The look has to be unified and it should speak about the philosophy of the company,” Ritu Beri, who has completed 25 years in the fashion industry, told Hindustan Times in an email interaction.
Eventually, about five lakh railway employees comprising onboard staff, ticket examiners, station masters, guards, drivers and catering personnel are expected to wear the new uniforms.
The uniforms will comprise half and full sleeve T-shirts in different colour combinations as well as fluorescent jackets.
Beri said that while designing the uniforms, she had to consider many aspects such as weather conditions, varied destinations, and the enormous numbers.
“One of the concepts given by us to the ministry is reflector jackets and T-shirts, which enables an identity creation and would be easily recognisable in the crowd,” she said.
Beri’s designs have been worn by several national and international celebrities like former US President Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Andie McDowell, Bollywood’s Madhuri Dixit, Preity Zinta Katrina Kaif, Akshay Kumar and Rani Mukerji.
The Delhi-born designer praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and railways minister Suresh Prabhu, and said, “In the past few decades, the Indian Railways suffered from disorderly planning done in bits and pieces. The government is taking steps in the right direction towards meeting its goal of revitalising India’s economy.”
She said the Modi government was trying to reverse this trend of slow growth, and she wanted to make her own contribution. “I do believe that the railways are the key to economic growth and when I saw efforts being taken to uplift the establishment, I decided to contribute in my own way too,” she said.
Beri, who has been a consultant for various international brands like Volvo, Swarovski and Honda Motors, had earlier designed uniforms for India’s national carrier, Air India.
“It was a pride designing uniforms for our national carrier, Air India. The endeavour was to combine our rich Indian colours with motifs from the Sun Temple in Konark. The main idea was to create a distinctive royal image for the national carrier. The inspiration came from the Sun Temple, the wheels and the arches are reflected in the print created,” she said.
Beri has also authored five books on her various experiences in the global fashion world.
She is also involved in charity with The Blessed Hearts Foundation, which works for the uplift of underprivileged children.
“We work to raise funds for autism and try to create greater awareness in our country. The philosophy of the foundation is to create a magnificent future for the children of India,” she said. Read more