For decades, bachelors at Mohlidih village were a cursed lot.
Bereft of electricity, the village didn’t attract families from other villages to look for grooms. Woes betide unmarried men who either shifted to other villages to marry or remained unmarried.
Thanks partly to a rural electrification scheme, power reached every house at the village in East Tundi block 10 days ago, bringing cheers among young men looking for brides.
However, everyone is not willing to speak to the media about their excitement. With young men shying away, elders came forward to share their happiness.
“It was very difficult for us to find brides for our sons. The girls’ parents would flatly refuse to marry their daughters in our village in the absence of power. Even sons-in-law refused to stay overnight depriving girls to spend time with their parents and siblings,” said Dhaneshwar Mondal, an elderly villager. He said he was happy that he could see power in his village in his lifetime and could proudly invite families to look for alliances in the village. “Our sons-in-law can now also stay overnight happily,” he said.
Located next to the newly constructed Dhanbad-Jamtara state highway, it took a government in Independent India about 69 years to brighten lives of the villagers.
However, the power did not come easily to the village. It was the villagers’ will that saw bulbs glowing there, said a villager.
The village having population of 5,000 was to be provided power under Rural Electrification Project. Though poles were installed five months ago, wires and transformers were missing.
The villagers wrote to their MLA and MP but no one took interest. At the end, they decided to collect donation and finish the incomplete task on their own. “We have spent nearly Rs 15,000 on workers’ fee and buying other fixtures to ensure that there was no further delay,” Subhash Rai, a community leader, said while expressing excitement that he can now recharge his cell phone at home. The electricity department has provided wires and its staff to install the lines.
Earlier, he and other villagers used to pay `5 for recharging mobile phone battery at a shop located in nearby Nawatand.
Jharkhand Urja Vikash Nigam Limited-Govindpur circle officers were tightlipped when queried on the need for people collecting donations to buy wire to get power.
One of the junior engineers, on condition of anonymity, said it got delayed since the contractor of the project had left the work after installing poles.
Yashoda Devi, an elderly woman, said, “Now our kids study late into the nights.” She requested departmental officers to ensure that villages got sufficient power during nights.