Ironic indeed to witness politicians and social organizations demanding for the inclusion of Shillong in the Smart City list when half of Meghalaya is still lagging behind in various sectors, be it infrastructure, health, education and connectivity.
Interestingly, while, the state Government continues to face rural electrification problem, till now, 345 villages in Meghalaya is yet to be electrified.
For years now, rural populace of Khrang village in Mawkynrew block of East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya continues to live in partial darkness. Like Khrang village, there are still so many villages in Meghalaya which are still reeling under darkness despite the implementation of the centrally sponsored scheme — Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.
It was informed that majority of the households in Khrang village has to continue living in darkness simply because the Meghalaya Electric Corporation Limited could not pay a huge amount of money to set up transformers.
When the government cannot provide the people the basic amenities, then a second agency comes to the rescue. In this case, it’s the Art of Living which is an international NGO which works towards the welfare of the rural folks.
One of the villagers, Barishisha while expressing her joy said, “Over 135 households in this villages has been living under darkness for several years, but today it’s a big day for us since for the first time in a long time, we are going to get access to electricity. Thanks to the solar lamps distributed by Art of Living!”
The situation is such that in the entire village, over 50-60 houses can hardly light a bulb and for the majority living in the village, access to electricity is but a distant dream.
This is where the Art of Living stepped in. Under its ‘Light a home’ project, volunteers of Art of Living reached out to the people of the villages and distributed around 135 solar lamps to brighten up their lives and lit a hope of light. This initiative is first of its kind in Meghalaya.
‘Light A Home’ initiative laid its foundation during October 2012. The aim of this initiative is to bring clean and affordable lighting to 360 million people in India living in 74 million rural households who do not have access to electricity” says Suparna Mordani, a senior faculty of Art of Living.
Majority of these people rely on kerosene and other fuels to meet their lighting needs, which is hazardous to both their health and to the environment.
The state Government has proposed to electrified these villages under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, a total of 63.03 crore will be sanctioned under this scheme.
It may be mentioned that altogether 136 Meghalaya villages have been electrified in the first week of August this year under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna.
While State Government is busy in formulating policies to electrify villages, the practical example set by an NGO in a village is welcomed. Now the NGO is planning to take up more such initiative to reach out to people.
Source: The North East Today