It’s early morning in rural Haryana and the sun is already burning. Only the brave have ventured out into the harsh, radiating heat.
At the dusty Kheri Taloda village, farmers are hard at work, grading their harvest. But the dry, still air is slowing them down. For Mahender Singh, selling his produce is the only source of income.
Last year, the drought brought him no returns. Now he’s hoping the harvest will earn him some cash. The closest market is located 20 km towards east in Jind, and the best way to get there is on a slow-moving cart.
Now, farmers in Jind district are benefiting most from the CSC WiFi Choupal service being provided at the panchayat office. By regularly visiting the web kiosk, they can easily access agricultural data and regular updates on market prices.
This WiFi Choupal service is being provided by VLE Rajendra Balda who runs CSC at Dhatrath, a village in Safidon, Jind district at Haryana. It belongs to Hisar Division, located 16 km from Jind and about 180 km from Chandigarh. VLE Rajendra started fiber maintenance work under CSC in his block since 2019 through BharatNet Project. Today Rajendra has made internet available in 39 gram panchayats of his block, soon FTTH services will be started in all these villages. Rajendra has changed the life of himself and the villagers through CSC.
On the densely populated Jind, the CSC WiFi Choupal is being used in new and innovative ways. The area, which has 1.5 million residents, is best known for its temples of Mahabharat era, yet in recent years a new theme has emerged: CSC Wi-Fi Choupal-driven community projects.
Despite the fact that in 2018 the Internet was nowhere near as developed as it is today, the people of Dhatrath, Kheri Taloda, Dehola villages are quick to utilize its power. With the support of CSCs, the grassroots group obtained a collection of computers.
It wasn’t an overnight job. First came mobilizing a community wary of technology and gaining support from the village elders. Second, came the struggle of getting the community online: setting up networks, establishing connections and training the residents. An uphill struggle was slowly met with success as the villagers began to use the power of the Internet through CSC Wi-Fi Choupal. Within two years, they began using the Internet in their own lives, announcing births, weddings and updates in community groups. In short, innovative use of developing technology revolutionized life in the once sleepy Jind.
From education to health and agriculture, businesses are hoping that CSC WiFi Choupal will provide a range of services to its rural customers.
“In many of the rural markets, people don’t venture out from their comfort zone so all these devices will give them an opportunity to experiment what is available in the urban land, says VLE Rajendra.
CSC Journey of VLE
VLE Rajendra Balda started serving his village Dhathrath from 2017 through CSC. Earlier, Rajendra did B.Tech from computer and worked in private company. Rajendra was not satisfied with the job of a private company, he wanted to do some work of his own. In 2017 he got this opportunity and left the job and started running CSC center. After starting the CSC Center, Rajendra changed the map of his village, he provided digitally literacy training to the poor household’s children by giving them free computer education. VLE Rajendra also employed 6 poor women of the village by setting up sanitary napkin unit, he provided sanitary napkins to the poor women of the village at a lower price than the market through the ASHA workers of his block.
CSC WiFi Choupal: The Internet for Development
Due to the advantages of using the Internet through CSC WiFi Choupal for education, e-learning can reach at any time, any place or anybody. The Internet has become a significant communication medium in Jind that provides individual need-based information in broad development areas. The Internet also holds many benefits for those who face linguistic and literacy barriers. Through Skill Development, PMGDISHA and other services of CSC, VLE Rajendra has been fostering employment developments among rural youth who lack access to basic resources.
The communities in rural areas of Dhatrath, Kheri Taloda, Dehola villages are using innovative solutions to improve their resilience, building on local strengths and opportunities. They are relying on a participatory approach to develop and implement their strategy to improve their economic and social conditions, in particular by mobilising solutions offered by digital technologies through CSC WiFi Choupal. The CSC has enabled accelerated impact on health, commerce, education and agriculture – by increasing last-mile access and making sure that the right digital solutions reach the people.
It has also increased the efficiency, security and effectiveness of public services while reducing their cost, promoting transparency and good governance.