This story of Jhingi has been one of resilience that has helped her and entire villagers of Horlor village, Ruidih Panchayat to overcome from the darkness that had hovered since 2013 due to transformer failure in her village. Once meek and feeble, reluctant to raise voice against ill things, now a transformed lady who together with other SHG women has brought light into the lives of villagers.
It was September 2013, when the transformer caught fire due to overloading and the entire village went into the darkness. In my village Gram Sabha is conducted every month which is presided over by munda. In the year that rolled by, this issue just became one of the agendas of gram sabha, which was discussed, debated but was never acted upon to solve the issue. That was the month of August in the year 2014, when I was identified as a LRG for my village and received training from NRO, Kudumbashree. I was taught regarding the importance of samuh (Self Help Group) and the gram sabha which have a power to solve difficult problems.
After few months of joining as a LRG, I realised this issue can be taken forward by taking other SHG women into a loop. So, in the EC meeting of VO members I discussed about the problem. VO EC members together with president, secretary and active women decided to come forward and disentangle the issue. In the meeting itself we wrote an application stating the status of electricity in the village and decided to present that application in the coming gram sabha.
In the gram sabha, we discussed about the content of application and took the signatures of villagers on it and it was decided there that the application will be handed over to the MLA. I together with SHG women went to meet MLA and had discussion on the problem which we had been facing for a year and half then. He said he already had talked to SDO regarding ‘Horlor’s transformer’. SDO had said to him that electricity bill for each consumer had accumulated to around Rs 1718 which had not been paid and was creating encumbrances in getting a new transformer. We ensured MLA that the outstanding bill which had accumulated will be paid off. We fixed the date to meet SDO in Vidyut Karyalay at Chakradharpur. Before going to Chakradharpur, SHG meeting was called and the whole matter was discussed in the SHG meeting. It was then decided to collect Rs 20 from each member. It was the month of May 2015; I was accompanied by VO president, active woman and other SHG members to Chakradharpur to meet SDO at Vidyut Karyalay. The collected money from the SHG members was used to pay the travel expenses. We were informed in the office that SDO was out of the state. We all were disappointed with the news and came back.
In June, we again went to Chakradharpur to meet SDO. This time we were fortunate enough to meet him. We gave application to him and explained the issue and we also ensured that SHG women will collect the outstanding amount from the villagers. We were sent saying that we will soon be informed about the status of transformer. Two months rolled by, but we didn’t receive information from the Vidyut Karyalay. In our monthly gram sabha of August we called our Mukhya and Panchayat Samiti Sadasya. There we formed Vidyut Samiti comprising of LRG and other three members, assigning them the role to take care of the regular payment of the bill and electricity issues in coming future. It was also decided that Mukhya, Panchayat Samiti Sadasya and Vidyut Samiti Sadasya will accompany us to Vidyut Karyalay. In the first week of September, 2015 as decided in the gram sabha Mukhya, Panchayat Samiti Sadasya and I went to meet SDO. This time he agreed to give new transformer but before that he asked to submit few necessary documents. (Consumer List, Bil etc.). In the month of December, President of Vidyut Samiti got a call from Vidyut karyalay asking him to take Transformer from the office.
Finally, after two years of spending into darkness electricity came in the month of December last year in our village. Since electricity is now in our village we are planning to have ‘Jal Minar’ (Overhead Water Tank) in our village.