SOURCE: E-BOOK ON SUCCESS STORIES RELEASED BY THE PRIME MINISTER ON CIVIL SERVICES DAY 2017
Rajibul Haq had no way of contacting his family when he was away at work in different cities. Though, he could afford a mobile phone for his family back in Katihar, there was no electricity to charge it. Mohammed Miraj’s family suffered due to floods every year and did not know how to recoup the losses. They were not in a position to start any business either. Mohammed Atif ’s family was living in primitive conditions. The menfolk would go to other States in search of work. Till they returned with some money, it was an interminable wait for the women of the family, each passing day filled with fear and unease, especially, after sunset during the floods.
All three BPL families belonged to Katihar District, in the plains of North Eastern Bihar. With four major rivers flowing through the district, seven of its 16 blocks are affected severely by flood and are neglected in terms of electricity supply.
Under DDUGJY, it was decided to provide electricity to 970 un-electried villages under 238 Gram Panchayats of the district. The learning from the shoddy implementation of earlier projects was taken into consideration, while planning the roll-out and the results were a huge success. There was great enthusiasm and support for the electrification among the villagers.
In the Flooded areas of Ahmadabad block, the villagers helped transport transformers, poles, conductors and other equipment, by actually carrying them on their shoulders. Work was never stopped even in the face of natural calamities. Till date, more than 556 villages out of the 970 un-electrified villages have been provided power and the villagers are delighted.
Says Mohammed Atif, “We are grateful to the authorities for providing us something that we did not have even after 70 years of independence. It is unbelievable that we actually have light in our homes.”
Mohammed Miraj’s son is dreaming big. He wants to start a mobile shop to download songs into mobiles. And Rajibul Haq can now keep in touch with his family through a mobile phone, though the signals are still quite poor. Life has surely changed for the better with electricity. These villages are now buzzing with a renewed lease of life with TV, mobile shops and other small businesses all set to flourish.