Friday, March 21, 2008

Media matters : In dark for 60 yrs, MP village gets power

Hemender Sharma / CNN-IBN

Kajrai Society, a Dalit village in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh, lived in darkness for the past 60 years. The telecom revolution touched the village like nowhere else. But as there was no electricity, the villagers travelled 20 km to neighbouring Mandi Bamora to get their mobile phones charged.

In December 2007, CNN-IBN showed how these powerless villagers braved odds to stay connected with relatives and friends. And within three months, it's a different story today after three months — the village has been electrified.

"We did not have electricity for the past 60 years. We complained to everyone, approached everyone. But no one listened to us. We had phones. CNN-IBN took it up and showed our plight, and now, within three months the village has been electrified," a villager, Deshraj Ahirwar, narrates.

"We could not study. But thanks to the media, now we have electricity and can study now," another villager, Santosh Ahirwar, states. The district administration admits that electricity is being supplied to the village on a priority basis after reports in the media.

"We are trying to provide electricity to every village and this would be done soon. Village Kajrai Society was electrified on a priority basis as the media had highlighted it," Sagar collector Hira Lal Trivedi said. The villagers have seen the light, but now they want roads, drinking water and other amenities as well. Thanks to the mobile phone for connecting them with development.

(With Sandeep in Sagar)

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