For the last six years, members of the Badlapur Pravasi Sahakari Mitra Sanstha have been celebrating Dussehra with regular commuters and rail staff in the 8.12 Badlapur-CST local.
“As our offices are shut for the festival, few regulars travel on the 8.12am local, which we fondly call the Badlapur Rani. So we celebrate Dussehra with the co-passengers and railway staff a day in advance,” said Naresh Ingavale, a member of the association.
The enthusiastic passengers decorate the train with flowers and the women passengers, dressed in traditional attire, also perform bhondala, a traditional Maharashtrian dance, on the platform.
“We distribute sweets and gifts among the motorman, guard and stationmaster. It is our way of thanking them on this special occasion,” said Tukaram Mahajan, president of the association.
This year, local MLA Kishan Kathore and Rajan Ghorpade, president of the Kulgoan-Badlapur Municipal Council, joined them in the festivities.