We cannot imagine living without electricity at our homes in today's date, however, 5 tribal poor families living in Kuhi village, of Redhakhol block have been surviving without electricity since until community correspondent Mamta Patra came in to change their lives.
This case was discovered by Mamta Patra, a citizen journalist for VideoVolunteers in October 2017, while she was on her field visit for her community work. She talked to the families about the issue and filmed a video explaining the problem. These families had been issued BPL cards (Below poverty line status) by the administration which indicated the families were among the poorest and most eligible for government basic facilities including electricity. The Odisha Government is runs the Dindayal Gram Jyoti Yojna which entitles priority electricity connections to BPL marked families. However these families werent being provided the connections inspite of regular pleads to officers. CC held a community meeting in the community and discussed the action plan for solving the issue. An application was framed and signed by the present villagers and a decision was taken to submit it in next days collectively at block office. Upon meeting the official SDO (Sub Divisional officer, Electrical ) the video was screened to him and application was submitted. The SDO suggested two options for the solution, First, the families approach district collector wherein they receive the free connection but with more delay or Second, quicker connections through normal consumer application to department directly by paying Rs.1274 as deposit amount. Villagers opted for the second option as they didn't wanted to wait any longer. CC proactively helped families arrange the necessary documents for electricity connection and submitted the. within seven days of application, the electricity connections were released by the department and the lives were no darker.
Mamta Patra, has filmed and solved such amazing rural issues which are available to watch on this website and Videovolunteers official Youtube channel. Currently Mamta Patra continues to report rural issues and also mentor the VideoVolunteers network of community correspondents in Odisha.