Bholu (mascot)

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Created byNational Institute of Design
RoleMascot of Indian Railways
Unveiled on16 April 2002

Bholu, the Train Manager/TM (Guard/GD) or the In-Charge of Train, elephant is the mascot of Indian Railways. The mascot — a cartoon of an elephant holding a signal lamp with a green light in one hand- was initially designed for Indian Railways' 150th year commemoration events and was unveiled on 16 April 2002 in Bangalore. Later in 2003, Indian Railways decided to permanently retain it as the official mascot.[1] The icon was placed on the reverse of a coin.[2]


Railways were introduced in India on 16 April 1853, with a line from Bombay to Thane. To commemorate the 150th year of the event, Indian Railways planned a series of events in 2002–03 which included launching a mascot. Bholu was designed by the National Institute of Design in consultation with the Railway ministry[3] and was unveiled on 16 April 2002 in Bangalore. On that day, Bholu flagged off the Karnataka Express at 6.25 pm from platform number 1 of the Bangalore city station.[1] According to the Indian Government (Railway Board)'s Manual for Public Relations Department (2007), Bholu was designated for official use effective 15 April 2002. Later, on 24 March 2003, they decided to retain Bholu as the official mascot of Indian Railways.[4]

Qualification, Designation & Work[edit]

The educational qualification of the Train Manager/TM is Graduation. In the British era, this post was reserved for Britishers, one & only graduate Britishers were appointed for this post. He is the In-Charge of Train (Loco Engine with Coaches or Wagons). This post is a supervisory or non-gazetted officer post under group C of Indian Railways. At first he checks the Mechanical V certificate/M V (Brake Power Certifiacte/BPC) of Senior Section Engineer/SSE of Coaching & Depot section/C & D or Carriage & Wagon section/C & W of his section, if there is any dispute in this paper, he should give a memo to the Controller/CNL or Divisional Operating Manager/DOM of his division, then he takes the Caution order (Speed Restriction order) of Divisional Engineer/DEN of Engineering section of his division, after these he takes over the charge of the train and he goes to his cab or Guard cab of the train, then he checks the Air Pressure Continuity/APC from his cab or Guard Cab to the Loco Engine with the Loco Pilot/LP (Driver/DR) by dropping the air pressure, if every thing is ok, he should give the Controller/CNL ready through the Station Manager/SM (Master/SM), then the Controller/CNL gives him permission through Station Manager/SM to start the train, then the Station Manager/SM turns or changes the aspects of signal from on (red) to off (green), when the Loco Pilot/LP observes the off signal, the Loco Pilot/LP takes the permission from him to start the train, then he gives the Loco Pilot/LP permission to start the train and the Loco Pilot/LP of the Loco Engine always follows his command, he holds a multicolour flashlight with green light in one hand to exchange All Right Signal/ARS with the Station Manager/SM and Loco Pilot/LP.[4] The green light is the symbol of movement, which assures trains and passengers to go ahead with safety and without fear.[5]


The mascot became very popular in India. When asked why they chose an elephant as their mascot and of their opinion on Bholu, Indian Railway officials said that Bholu is friendly and helpful.[1] An Indian Government official release in 2003 described Bholu as an "ethical, responsible, sincere and cheerful icon". The same report stated that other than denoting stability, it represents the Indian Railways workforce as well.[5] Also in 2003 the Indian Government released a two-() rupee coin which carried the impression of Bholu on its reverse side.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Bholu the Railways mascot unveiled". The Times of India. 16 April 2002. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Commemorative currency". Indian Government. 1 September 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Coins to mark 150 years of Railways". Tribune India. 13 July 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Manual for Public Relations Department (2007)" (PDF). Government of India, Ministry of Railways (Railway Board). pp. 30–31. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Bholu to stay with Railways". The Hindu. 24 April 2003. Retrieved 11 May 2013.

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