SOURCE: E-BOOK ON SUCCESS STORIES RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON CIVIL SERVICES DAY 2017
For 32-year-old Gulabi Bai, life had literally changed in a blink of an eye or rather a flick of a switch. For the first time in her life, she actually saw a room light up with an electrical light. “It has become so bright” says Gulabi Bai with tear-filled eyes. She is one of the residents of Balwadi village of Sendhwa block of Barwani district in Madhya Pradesh, who for the first time is seeing electricity.
Electrical connection in this village has been made possible with DDUGJY, launched in 2014, with the objective to achieve 100% electrification of villages with special dispensation for all rural BPL households.
After working under MGNREGS, Gulabi Bai manages to earn a monthly income of barely INR 1,250/-. She has been struggling hard all her life to make ends meet for her family which consists of her ailing husband and four children. Even before her marriage, the same struggle had continued since her family was one of the poorest in the village.
“Now with this new electricity connection, we have been able to install pumps so that there is a continuous flow of water. I have started growing vegetables in my small farm. Earlier we had to fetch water from the well and water the plants but now with an electrical connection, life has become more comfortable. The vegetables grown, will get me an additional income of INR 8,000/-”, says GulabBai.
Like many other households in Balwadi, electricity has brightened not only her house but her life too. In order to supplement her little income, she has been rearing poultry and goats. But without electricity, there was always a danger of wild animals carrying away the reared animals. But now electricity has given an added sense of security and confidence. She is planning to increase the number of animals she is currently rearing so that her income adds up. She has already applied for free of cost chickens and goats under the Backyard Development Scheme of the Madhya Pradesh Government. “With four children to bring up and a bed ridden husband, this additional money is like a godsend.”