The government of India claimed that all villages in the country have been electrified.
Prime Minister Modi tweeted, "28th April 2018 will be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India. Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever! I am delighted that every single village of India now has access to electricity."
The Prime Minister specifically mentioned Leisang, a village from Manipur that too has now been electrified. He congratulated the people who made it possible. Minister of State (independent charge) for Power RK Singh while speaking to India Today boasted, "This was an uphill task. It has been achieved well within the time frame given, with 12 days to go."
Other Ministers too took to Twitter to congratulate the government. And why not? After all, it's not an easy feat. But has India indeed achieved 100 per cent electrification? India Today sent a volley of reporters across different parts of India and the findings are shocking to say the least.
VILLAGE ALIRAJPUR, MADHYA PRADESH
Regardless of the tall claims by the government of bringing electricity to more than 18,000 villages that were submerged in darkness, the reality of Alirajpur creates a hole in that theory.
On the banks of River Narmada, there are as much as five villages that are Dalit dominated. They don't know what electricity is all about. Alirajpur, where India Today correspondent visited is one among the five.
In fact, there's only one village out of the five where only electric poles have reached. Mukesh, a young villager, when asked about the status of electricity in his village replied, "We have five villages here including Jhandana, Amba, and Chameli. We don't have electricity here. We have tried to draw the attention of the government in this regard but in vain."
VILLAGE SAPRUM, JHARKHAND
Saprum is barely 90 kilometers from Jamshedpur, it falls under the Kharsawa District. This quaint village has even a railway station at a distance of just one and a half kilometers.
Technically speaking, the village is electrified. But India Today reality check shows it is anything but electrified. The Chief Minister claimed a couple of years back that electricity has been brought in Saprum with poles being installed. Its been two years since then and all the village has are the poles without any electricity.
Gautam and Pooja, both school children when asked about the situation confirmed that there has been no electricity in the poles. Subhash Chandra Mahato told India Today, "The darkness creates a bigger problem for the village as it is frequented by elephants."
The government may have claimed that Indian villages Stand 100 per cent electrified but even today there is half a dozen village in Dholpur that haven't seen the electricity even after so many years of independence.
Ghuraiya Hera, Hathiyakhar, Kehri ka Nagla, Rajghat, Haripura, Gole ka Pura, Shankar Pura, Thakur Pura - citizens of these villages have no clue how it feels to be sitting under a fan on a hot summer day. Villagers allege, they took the initiative to petition authorities, follow up files for days but nothing came out. Hardly ever any collector or Superintendent of Police comes to these villages.
Jagdish Prasad, who stays in one of these villages allege, "Forget electricity, we don't have a proper road or decent drinking water."
Rajendra who hails from Rajghat Village says, "We only see a politician around election and that's the only time they listen to us."
RAISEN, MADHYA PRADESH
Shivraj Singh Chouhan may have been too eager to take to Twitter to congratulate the union power ministry saying the electrification will "usher in new lights in the lives" of ordinary people across India, but ground reality says something else. In his own state, there are as much as 50 villages that are yet to be electrified.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's constituency is Sanchi. India Today reporter found that more than 6 villages of that constituency are yet to see a fan run or a tube light switch on.
Jaitgarh, Bili, Pond, Ramgarha, Khananpura, Gopalpur - the list is endless when it comes to Madhya Pradesh.
Our team interviewed a lot of women trying to understand what is the biggest problem they face due to no electricity. Be it Mamta, Phul Bai or Suraj Bat all express frustration and a sense of coming terms with it, almost certain electricity is not going to reach their villages.
100 per cent electricity would have indeed been a stupendous achievement for this government nationally, something like Ujwala Yojna was for Uttar Pradesh. But the reality is India is far away from being 100 per cent electrified. There is a long road to cover and work on fast track, if indeed it wants to reap the political dividend ahead of next year's general election.
Source- India Today