Five years after receiving a desktop computer for securing first division in Class 10, Rintu Saikia has asked the Assam government to take it back. Reason: he cannot use it as his village has been awaiting electrification for ages.
Saikia, 21, was one of 2,000 students who had received the 2007 Anundoram Borooah Award that entailed a desktop for doing well in the high school-leaving certificate exam. Laptops replaced the desktops two years ago.
“The computer is given so that we can use it to improve our academic career. But what’s the point in keeping one when there is no power in our village?” Saikia, who appeared in his BA final exam this year, said.
Saikia’s village Balijan is 410km northeast of Guwahati. Electricity reached the village a couple of years ago but more than 75% households are yet to get connected.
“I have appealed to the chief minister to take back the computer if the government cannot fulfil its duty of giving us power. If I cannot use it, the government might as well give it to someone who can,” Saikia said.
Saikia is also tired of changing the protective covers for the monitor and hard drive all the time. “The roof of my house leaks when it rains, and I have had a tough time all these years protecting something that I cannot even use,” he said.
Saikia’s elder brother Mintu had also received a desktop in 2005. He sold it off for lack of power and put the money in a bank.
The CM’s office said it was yet to receive any official communication from Saikia. “But we will look into it,” said Gogoi’s press secretary Abdul Khaleque.