The Chief Minister emphasized the crucial role that the Himachali Diaspora plays in the state's progress and assured them of government support for their investment in these sectors.
The installation of a 4G tower has completely changed the life of a tiny hilly village in Himachal Pradesh for the better. Situated at an elevation of about 1,520 feet in the Shimla district, Baag village now boasts of an Internet facility, and with the internet, the village has access to national and international television channels.
The internet has proved a boon for the students of a local school. They now have exposure to world-class online classes. Even their grandparents aren’t immune from the influence of the internet.
While they all enjoy surfing the internet, the local women are able to listen to trending songs, the videos of which are available online in abundance. They can now listen and dance to the tunes of the songs of their choice.
It all began with Tejasvi Chauhan, a Ph. D. student at IIT Bombay, facing phone connectivity issues during the lockdown in March 2020. This was when he realised the seriousness of the issue.
“The issue was not limited to only his hamlet. Numerous other villages in the panchayats in the vicinity are also facing connectivity issues. With the children in the neighbourhood having no access to the internet, their schooling was badly affected. Over a thousand pupils in all age groups were affected due to lack of internet access. Due to the lack of connectivity, the area also had issues in the event of a medical emergency,” he recounted.
Realising the seriousness of the situation, Chauhan began lobbying with service providers for the internet for his village. The mobile service providers he contacted were hesitant to invest money in a new tower as there was already one nearby. “The problem with the existing tower was that villages on their side never used to receive proper signals from it since there was a huge gap between them and that range was higher than the tower”, Chauhan told The Statesman over the phone.
After getting in touch with the Ministry of Communications with the help of one, Sagar Sharma, an IIT grad and government agency scientist, he was able to get a tower installed in his village. The entire process took him almost eight to nine months in which the installation work was completed in 2021. Now, Chauhan’s village has reliable 4G access.
After getting a solid 4G connectivity, a primary school teacher, Shanta Chauhan, posted at Lihat village is able to facilitate his students with an easier and more productive learning experience.
Speaking to The Statesman, an elated Shanta Chauhan said, “After getting an internet signal in our hamlet, we are able to process students and school demands on time. Now, students won’t miss on their online assignments e.g. quizzes, online debates, etc.”
As per the 2011 census, of the 5,97,618 inhabited villages, 25,067 have no cellular network. The data has, however, not been updated since December 2020.