The liveries of the era days, the thick white cotton shirt and Pathani pagri with blue borders, donned by railway staff could soon be a thing of the past.
In the spirit of bringing transformations in the Indian railways, designer Ritu Beri has been roped in to come up with a new design for uniform of rail staff.
Recently, the designer came to Rail Bhavan to give a presentation to Union railways minister Suresh Prabhu. The presentation was on her design concepts and inspirations for the uniform, said the railway ministry spokesperson.
Beri laid out designs from tribal art and crafts styles—Kalamkari (AP/Telengana), Madhubani (Bihar), Warli (Gujarat/Madhya Pradesh), Mehendi (Rajasthan)—among others as her inspiration for the new uniform during the presentation.
Her other inspirations include surreal heritage sculptures, rustic coins and manuscripts from the golden era of India. The geometric symmetry of patterns, colours and textures from the majestic Nawab era also inspired the designer. She also included modern pop art, fusing elements like culture, business, music and entertainment for recreating on clothing and embellishments.
"Each of my themes represent a different colour pallete to pick from and replace or fuse with the sober blue and whites of railways uniform," Beri said, when asked about her concepts for the designs of the new uniform.
Accepting Beri's suggestion to run a competition for seeking feedback from citizens and the staff on the different options, rail minister Prabhu, also suggested that railway unions be consulted on the choice of colour.
Prabhu, however, had another request for the designer. The railways minister said, "On pricing, please ensure that the cost of the new uniform targets price of the current one."