When Electricity Entered My Village.
My father got married in 1995, they gave us cooler, fan and TV in dowery. And Electricity entered our village in 2002. We had to wait 7 years to use the items we got in gift in the marriage. Read this entire interesting journey of Power.
April 2002, Bhakhran Wala, Rawatsar
"XEN sir! we have the poles outside our village but we don't have electricity.", I told XEN who was recently transferred to Rawatsar. He was a tall, muscular man wearing a neatly ironed pent-shirt, showing that he was a mighty government employee.
"Seriously! We have given you poles but we haven't given you electricity yet?"
"Okay. I will look into the matter. You can go now."
"Thank You, Sir," I said and came out of that office.
When I was informed that a new XEN was appointed in Rawatsar, I got excited and went to meet him.
He ensured us that we would be given electricity connections. The poles reached outside the village one year ago but they can't install inside because our Sarpanch had an argument with the previous XEN. He demanded a bribe and Mr. Sarpanch denied. Then he was stuck on the point that he wouldn't install the poles inside and our Sarpanch was firm that he won't give bribe. So the villages that were far from the city installed electricity and we remained behind. I approached the XEN first because I was afraid that Mr. Sarpanch will argue with him too.
After two days, he summed to me. We met in his office.
"I will try to install the poles in your village. I will make a new line. You have to make sure that at least seven houses take new connections."
"Yes. This is the least number in a line."
"Ok. I will try to convince my neighbor."
"Meet me with seven applications."
I tried to convince people in my line for electricity connection. It cost Rs1800 for one connection. That was a considerable amount at that time so they hardly agreed. I managed to convince five people- Indraj, my cousins Banshi and Dharampal, Aslam, Safi, and myself. I requested XEN to make a line but He said if the house at the corner agrees to have a connection then we could proceed.
Motilal was a poor man. He didn't have Rs. 1800 to take a connection. But it was important to convince him. So we all seven collected money to buy a connection for him. At last, we were at the condition that none could stop us to have an electricity connection, First in our village.
The next day, we submitted our application files to the office. XEN registered us and gave me a receipt. He shorted the files as locations of our houses. My file was at three. He gave me a receipt which showed File No. 3. I kept that. He came to our village and inspected our houses. He said we had to have an Electricity fitting in our house to have a power connection.
"Call a mechanic and do the electricity fitting in the next two days, unless you are not able to have a connection."
I went to an electrician in Rawatsar. I told him about the whole situation.
"Seven Houses. Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am. You have to do it in two days."
"Okay. I will do it."
In the next two days, we had fitting as well. A truck was brought there and dropped poles in our street. Now the news spread all over the village that we were having electricity. Two days passed but none installed meters on the poles. Then we get to know that poles were dropped in the second street as well. I went to meet XEN that afternoon.
I met LunaRam in the market. I had guessed well what could have happened. Luna Ram was a rich Choudhary of the village. He lost the last elections. I went to the office.
"What happened? Why haven't we got the connections yet?"
"Some problem occurred, we will fix it."
I looked at the files on the table. A few more files were there. I looked at my file. It was numbered 10. Loona's file was numbered 1. He must have bribed the officer.
"Why is it number ten? My file is at three."
"Don't worry! It will not take more than a week."
"I am not going to wait for a day."
"What will you do?"
"I will do a direct connection by myself. ( We call it Kundi.)
"This is not a game."
"I will do it with the help of an electrician. And If you inspect us then I can prove that you delayed our connections willingly." I took out the receipt.
Sweetdropes came out on his forehead. I could see the situation was under control.
"This is a game.", I said hitting my fist on the table.
He called his peon and summoned junior engineer. They gave us a connection on that evening. A senior officer came there and inspected the progress. I could understand the reason for the sweatdrops.
I didn't sleep that night. I tried every instrument that night. TV didn't show visuals, it didn't have an antenna. We installed that next day. I was so happy because finally, we have electricity, we can use the cooler and TV after the wait for seven years.