Rajasthan villages realising ‘Digital India’ dream on solar power

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People in remote villages of Rajasthan’s Alwar district are catching up on the ‘Digital India’ trail as many of them, including women, have started using internet being provided through unique solar-run telecom towers.

Rajasthan, solar power, digital India, India

Karenda, Phalsa and Bahadari, the three villages which lie close to the state’s border with Haryana, lack facilities like proper roads, hospitals, post-office and police station, but people there have been connected with internet and mobile telephony under an initiative of a private company.

While locals said gram panchayats are proposed to be connected with internet according to the Centre’s ‘Digital India’ plan, which may take at least one-and-a-half years more, some of them were already using cheaper WiFi internet to download study material or enjoy video songs on YouTube.

The government school in Karenda, which locals claimed got electricity connection about two months ago, already has a digital classroom with the study material for some of the classes optimised for ‘digital tutorials’ run on the internet provided by VNL Telecom.

Some kilometres off these villages towards the main road that links Bhiwadi to Alwar is Mushtaqpur where Mohar Singh recently set up an e-services shop that helps local people get made their Aadhar card, passport, birth/death certificates, ration card or other such document and train/bus tickets.

The advantage of these telecom towers are manifold, VNL officials said, noting the biggest being their ability to run on low power which too is taken from solar energy.This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, the officials said.

By Baishakhi Dutta

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