There's power in Gandhigiri.
Officials of Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) did not honour villagers' invite and turn up to celebrate 25 years of darkness at Kanugaon in eastern Assam's Golaghat district on Sunday. They did, less than 48 hours later to "see what can be done".
A team of officials from the nearest ASEB office - at district headquarters Golaghat, 12 km away - reached Kanugaon on Tuesday afternoon to survey the "current situation". For the villagers, the visit was quite celebratory.
"We have been sent to find out what needs to be done to electrify the village," said ASEB official Ashim Nath. "We cannot assure electrification right away, but the requirement is likely to be worked out soon."
Hindustan Times had last Saturday reported how villagers of Kanugaon were poised to celebrate the silver jubilee of life without electricity. The following day, the ad hoc Bijuli Khoota Poota Rupali Jayanti Udjapon Samity (Committee to Celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Erection of Electric Poles) organised a yagna and cultural functions to ensure "good sense prevails on ASEB officials".
The Committee had sent out special invitation to the ASEB officials. But they avoided attending the function for obvious reasons.
"Since 1985, we have made several rounds of the office, staged protests and submitted petitions for electrification of our village. Wish we had resorted to Gandhigir earlier," said Committee member Tankeswar Das.