Internet,the Harbinger of a silent revolution, changing the lives of today’s people and empowering them with knowledge of all kinds with one click.Its truly made the world a small place! Even our smartphones are incomplete without internet. So Why should villagers not use this magic wand to transform their Lives. A Small Village Near Nashik goes wi-fi, Malegaon is turned itself to a free Wi-Fi zone that too without government assistance!
The gram panchayat of Malegaon village, located in Sinnar taluka and about 22 km from Nashik, is rolling out free connectivity to its 7,500 villagers to improve awareness levels of its young residents, funding the entire WiFi system on its own.”We have a young generation that wants to learn things and excel, explore new frontiers and build careers. It would be injustice to keep them away from this digital revolution,” said Tukaram Sangle, village sarpanch, explaining why the decision to install the WiFi was taken.”We have set up four hot spots in the village, which cater to 1,000 sq metre, enabling residents in the twin village – Malegaon and Maparwadi – easy access to WiFi system, provided they have a password,” said Sanjay Giri, the village development officer. While the service is free, there will be a watch on the content and certain websites screened or even removed.
About three years ago, a high school and an anganwadi of this village were digitized.On July 30, 2014, the gram sabha decided that WiFi will be installed in the village. Not wanting to disturb the government internet connection the gram the sabha office decided to go for a private connection, which costed them Rs 55,000 and enabled 1,000 users to log on simultaneously and get 2 mbps data speed. It executed the plan in flat 15 days, making it the first village in the region to not just have WiFi but also one that it FUNDED on its own, without seeking any financial assistance from the state.Malegaon village makes a substantial revenue from industries located in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) estate here. “Youngsters in our village were earlier dependent on the farm produce in the arid taluka. The industries did help us find some jobs, but those were temporary jobs or for unskilled work given the educational qualifications of the youngsters here. To change the situation, we decided to educate children and now are presenting them with the internet connections,” said Madhukar Sangle, the deputy sarpanch.”Free WiFi will help children surf sites and download or upload data as required and also help the farmers and TRADERS to get information they need,” Giri said. Another gram panchayat member, Ashok Sangle said this connectivity will bring village youngsters on par with their counterparts in urban areas. A member pointed out that after the model was successfully rolled out, the gram panchayat could even think of developing it into another source of income by allowing industrialists in Malegaon area to access it, which would boost their revenue.
Hats off to Malegaon, sometimes a simple step in the right direction can create a revolution. Page3Nashik hopes every village and city take inspiration from them!