Mobile internet connectivity changes lives of Himachal hamlet

Installation of a 4G tower has completely changed the life of a tiny hilly Baag  village of Himachal Pradesh. Baag, which is situated at an elevation of about 1520 feet in Shimla district has now the facility of Internet as well access to National and International TV channels.

Moreover, the students of local schools now have the exposure to word-level online classes. Even the elderly local ladies are dancing on tunes of trending videos and songs.

It all began with the lockdown in March 2020 when Tejasvi Chauhan, a Ph.D. student of IIT Bombay, experienced phone connectivity issues. Being disconnected from the world, he could feel the pain of the locals and also realized the seriousness of the issue.

Chauhan stated, “The issue was not limited to only his hamlet, but also to numerous other villages in the Panchayats close that are also facing the same connectivity issues. Neighborhood’s kids did not have access to internet schooling at the same time. Over a thousand pupils of all ages were there. Due to a lack of connectivity, the area also had issues in the event of a medical emergency”

Considering how severe the situations are, Chahuan began contacting several individuals. The mobile service providers were hesitant to spend money on a new tower because there was already one nearby. “Villages on our side never received a solid signal since there was a gap between them and that range was higher than the tower”, Chauhan told Statesman over phone.

After getting in touch with the Ministry of Communications with the help of Sagar Sharma, an IIT graduate and government agency scientist. He was able to install a tower in his village.

The whole process took him almost 8 to 9 months and installation work was completed in 2021. Now, Chauhan’s village has reliable 4G access.

After getting solid connectivity, a primary school teacher, Shanta Chauhan posted at Lihat village was able to facilitate their students with an easier and more productive learning experience. 

While talking to the Statesman, She said, “After getting mobile reception in the hamlet we are able to process the  demands of the students and school, on time. Most importantly, students are not missing their online assignments like quizzes, online debates etc. 

As per 2011 census, of 5,97,618 inhabited villages, 25,067 have no cellular network. The data has, however, not been updated since December 2020.

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