Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative, four techies from Rajgarh District of Madhya Pradesh have turned three remote villages into first free Wi-Fi zones in the country without borrowing any funds from the government.
On October 4 , four people, including Abhishek, Bhanu Yadav, Shakeel Anjum and Tushar Barthare lauched the service at Shivnathpura village and then extended the facility to Bawadikheda Jagir, Devria on Jan 1.
Anjum said, “Though official inauguration was done on January 1, the service began on November 17 as we were testing the services for over a month.”
Lal Singh, a school teacher from Shivnathpura, said that he brought a computer after his village got the Wi-Fi connectivity. He further added, “I am a government teacher and each student is being mapped as per government instruction. Earlier, to make entries, I had to travel to Khilchipur the nearest town to avail internet service and do GIS mapping.”
The four techies have invested about Rs 2 lakh for creating the infrastructure for free service. The infrastructure includes an 80-ft high tower and 200 ampere inverter to ensure 24×7 connectivity. Four of them share the recurring expenses of around Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 in a month.
“We four are a team and sometimes I pay extra while Abhishek, Bhanu and Shakeel bear the remaining burden,” Barthare said.
“We wanted to ensure that this is done at a minimum cost and even in a village like Bawadikheda Jagir where infrastructure is poor,” added Anjum.
Tarun Pithode, District Collector, said, “The local administration is looking into the initiative and working out plans to make the entire district digital.”
“We are trying to get funds from elected representatives and they have agreed too,” he said. “But making it completely free everywhere is not feasible. If things go well, we will soon make entire district Wi-Fi free zone,” he added.