A remote tribal village with dense forest cover in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district has finally after 65 years of Independence experienced the comfort of electricity.
Garanji village in Mulchera taluka, 40 kilometres away from Chamorshi (the taluka headquarters) has been dark for so long that people could not believe their eyes when uninterrupted power supply from Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) for the first time, lit up their lives literally, this week.
Elated, they distributed sweets, celebrating with drumbeats and erected welcome arches all over the village.
The electric connection, reaching through the 10-km stretch of forest from nearby Regdivikaspalli village to the tribal hamlet, was ceremoniously inaugurated by Sub Divisional Officer of Chamorshi, Dilip Sawarkar following a prolonged and relentless struggle by villagers and local activists.
The Adiwasi Parishad, a local tribal organisation had even lodged a complaint in this regard with the Human Rights Commission which had started an independent enquiry and had sought a report from the district administration.
"We are delighted to have been able to bring electricity to this village, where people were living in darkness for so many decades. The villagers were also very happy to have round-the-clock power supply," the SDO said.
Bajirao Gawde, Sarpanch of Regdivikas palli was also present on the occasion.
Recently, the villagers along with the school Headmaster Vijay Karkhele had called on the District Collector Abhishek Krishna urging him to provide electric supply and other facilities. On his direction, the officials swung into action and began the process.
As there was a shortage of labourers, villagers themselves pitched in and helped officials to dig trenches to raise electric poles.