Kalavati’s village celebrates access to electricity

March 30th, 2009 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Rahul Gandhi Jalka (Maharashtra), March 30 (IANS) Kalavati, a resident of Jalka village who was made well known after Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi mentioned her in the Lok Sabha last year, Monday invited him to visit her home again - celebrating her village’s first access to electricity.
Initiated by international NGO Greenpeace, two schools in the village saw solar power panels bring them electricity which powers 10 fans and a computer.

“Now my children have a future,” Kalavati beamed, as her two sons and two daughters are among the 100 schoolchildren to have experienced the benefits of the initiative.

Kalavati, whose debt ridden husband committed suicide in 2005, shot into fame when Rahul Gandhi mentioned her name in the Lok Sabha in his speech during the debate on the trust motion moved by the Manmohan Singh government July last year.

Noting that thousands of people like Kalavati do not have access to electricity in their households, he said he championed nuclear power for this purpose.

As the 1,200 residents of the village rejoiced the moment, sarpanch (village head) Anusayabai Kumbhare said: “Electricity always seemed like a distant dream but I was surprised when I saw how easily this solar panel was set up in just three days and the fans worked in the school.”

“We would like to invite Rahul Gandhi, who made our village famous by naming it in parliament, to witness and take this vision forward,” he added.

Akshay, a Class seven student, said with pride that although the rest of the village did not have any electricity yet, they could switch on the fans.

“Technology made no sense earlier since there was no electricity to power it. But not any longer,” he added.

Enthused by the development, the schoolchildren have also signed up on a poster demanding solar energy for the whole village, Greenpeace activist Siddharth Pathak said.

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