RAHA, Sept 16 - Although we cannot imagine a life without electricity in today�s day and age of television, mobile phones and other gadgets, but many people in the rural areas of the State have not yet seen an electric bulb, leave alone the benefit from it and many other uses that the people in the cities are lucky to enjoy everyday.
Hatigarh, a village situated nearly 20 km away from Raha under Raha Legislative Assembly Constituency did not have electricity since independence. Consequently, the residents faced several problems in their day-to-day life. The lack of electricity had varied effects on their lives � from adversely affecting the education of their children, to low agricultural productivity. More-over, their basic needs such as fans during hot summers or charging points for mobile phones could not be met. One unique problem mentioned by Jyoti Das, a resident of the village, was the destruction of paddy fields by wild elephants in the region.
Finally the residents of the village have recently been provided electricity for the first time since independence under the Central Government�s Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY). In a function held at the village, Raha MLA Dimbeswar Das inaugurated electricity in the village switching on a bulb at the residence of Nirmali Das of the village which overwhelmed her entire family and neighbours. Addressing the residents in the inaugural function, the local MLA admitted that power and water supply were some of the main poll promises made by him to the village residents during the last Assembly elections. �Today I am very happy that I was able to fulfil one of my promises and it gives me immense pleasure to stand before the villagers with moral courage,� he said. He further thanked Dev Dulal Sharma, Sub-Divisional Officer, ASEB, Raha for his timely action and keen interest to make his dream possible to electrify the village.
The SDO, ASEB, Raha, Dev Dulal Sharma who gave the official confirmation that the village was electrified, said that electricity had eluded the residents for so long that they did not believe things could change even after overhead lines were put in place and a transformer was installed. In his brief speech, the SDO said, �I could see the happiness on the face of the people. Before this, they had to go to neighbouring market for even basic things like charging mobiles.� He said that electrification work in the village will radically change the lives of nearly 150 residents of Hatigarh. He informed the gath-ering that rural electrification was an ongoing process under the Deen Dayal Updhyay scheme and the ASEB is committed to provide electricity to every house-hold in the rural areas of the State.
After the village got access to electricity, the villagers felt they could achieve anything. Life�s conveniences have increased manifold and the presence of lighting at night allows household chores like cooking to be done after dark as well.
The impact, expectedly, has been amazing among the village residents. A 65-year-old woman, wiping her tears of joy told this correspondent that the days of lanterns were over and now her grandchildren would not have any problems in studying after sunset.
Abinash Bordoloi, a college student, said electrification would help students of their village to get those crucial extra hours to study. �Till the other day, we had no other option but to study before sunset or very early in the morning, but now the arrival of electricity in our village has solved all the problems.�