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23 Mar

Simplifying lives in Karenda with e-Governance

By: Chandni Goel
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Mar 23, 2017

People living in urban areas are privileged, when it comes to accessing basic government services. Moreover, in the last few years, most of these services have been successfully ported online. Today, it is hard to imagine that one must travel 50 km for obtaining documents such as Aadhar cards, passports, or vehicle registration papers!

However, the story in rural areas is very different. Information and registration forms that are easily accessible on the web are not available in villages due to the lack of connectivity. One has to travel to the district headquarters, sometimes repeatedly, to get simple things done. Ironically, accessing services that have been designed to help citizens of the country in the first place has become a tedious task for people in rural areas.

Residents of Karenda, a poor village in Rajasthan were grappling with similar problems until a couple of years ago but the scenario has changed since VNL’s wireless mobile and broadband network was deployed. Once connectivity arrived in the village, things changed. The most remarkable change has been the setting up of an e-Mitra booth near the village which caters to Karenda as well as a few other villages in the vicinity. Villagers can now obtain government documents online quickly. And at a fraction of the cost. Getting an Aadhar Card now is a simple matter of a few minutes, and costs no more than Rs 50! Tax payers in the village are able to make transactions online. Pensioners no longer have to stand in queues as their documentation and verification can all be done on the web. Subsequently, the fund transfer also happens via e-banking.

Overall, people are more aware about the latest changes in government policies and procedures. In case of grievances and feedback, a virtual dialogue with government bodies is easily possible. The Gram Panchayat in the village has become more powerful as they no longer have to visit the district office to check the status of village related projects. They are constantly in touch with the authorities over email and their queries are now being treated more seriously. Basic facilities which are a fundamental right of each citizen are now within reach.

A small but significant start has been made in Karenda. VNL’s vision is to now extend connectivity to all unconnected villages in the country so that basic government services are within reach for every citizen.

To read more about how the lives of people in Karenda have transformed Click Here

 
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