A simple telephone brings empowerment to poor villagers in Podahatu

Jamshedpur: A mere Coin Box Telephone has brought a sea-change in the quality of life for the poor villagers of Porahatu village in Potka Block of East Singhbhum district. They are more empowered now, compared to their status a few months back.

Though, several youths of the village do flaunt their mobile phones, thanks to the cell-phone revolution that has spread across India, affording a cell-phone is still a dream for most of the poor villagers of this village.
But, Jharkhand Tribal Development Society and ICRISAT 's initiative of installing Coin Telephones in the villages has come as a boon for the poor villagers.

At the initiative of social organization, YUVA, JTDS and ICRISAT have provided five coin box basic telephones for five villages and these were installed in Podahatu, Koche, Sidirsai, Jhayan and Nachosai villages.

YUVA has ensured that the telephone numbers of district collectorate, BDO, hospitals, vehicle owners and important traders and local businessmen are made easily available at the place where these coin telephones are installed. This is helping the villagers in a big way.

Now, they are able to contact the bank officers, BDO and other officials directly and without any problem.

And the fact that they can now contact the local businessmen, traders and dealers easily has come as a big boost for the villagers. Now, they are able to bargain for the price of their paddy and other forest produces in a better way and are better informed about the prices of their produces elsewhere. As a result they get better price for their produces.

In Podahatu the coin box has been installed in Kamali Sardar's house. But, the key is kep with Mrs. Mantala Sardar. The telephone service is operated under the supervision of Programme Implementation Committee (PEC).

JTDS had provided the phone with initial re-charge of Rs. 500. The committee has already earned a profit of Rs. 300 till date.

And the learning is that even a simple step and a modest initiative can bring about a big transformation in life of hundreds.