“Sydney Metro that connects Western Sydney with Chatswood has commenced action recently. Almost all the stations in the old train lines to Penrith and Richmond have been refurbished. However, there is one station that is still neglected – Doonside”. These words form the premise for Indu Harikrishna, a social worker and mother of 2 who has been campaigning solo for the betterment of the facilities at the station. “Even though residents of the new suburbs like Bunya and Bungarribee use the Doonside station to commute for work, the station does not even have a lift installed. The last big upgrade was only in 1990. The mature aged and the economically struggling communities that live in Doonside would also benefit out of any potential revamps. However, there has not been any action in this regard”.
It was just more than a month ago that Indu took her plea to the Lord Mayor Stephen Bali, Mayor of Blacktown, only to realize that there is a shortage of about 3000 signatures to get to the requisite 10000, in order to move a motion in the Parliament. She decided to pitch in as a community volunteer. The first step was an advertisement on social media asking like-minded people to come over to the Bunya Homestead Park on an autumn Sunday morning. She was quite surprised to see that she got 50 signatures that morning; which reinforced the fact that this initiative has taken a long time coming.
What followed was a community upsurge. People who signed asked if they could pass it on to their friends, colleagues and family. Further to Mayor Bali’s confirmation that contributions outside the council area were welcome too, the number in signatures saw a significant increase. The volunteers sought the consent of the officials of the Doonside railway station to promote the campaign around the premises, which was granted.
It has become a weekend activity of Indu’s to frequent the nearby suburbs, parks, worship places, community gatherings and so forth to collect signatures. “In a short span of 4 weeks, we have managed to collect about 1000 signatures”, gushes Indu. A Facebook page was also set up, called “Need for Doonside lifts”, and activities are being updated on it, making the entire process fair and transparent.
“We are more than happy to welcome anyone who would like to volunteer for this campaign. Every single thought, person and signature counts. We are trying to connect with as many people as possible; however, if anyone is willing to help, please reach out on firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can certainly make a much-needed change happen, which will serve generations to come”.