About 10 kms from the headquarters of Nuh district, Haryana lies a village where daily life came to a standstill when there was no electricity for ten days due to a fault with the village transformer. Children were not able to study properly. The community complained multiple times to the government official in charge of electricity, but this proved to be in vain.
Under a CSR-supported project implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation, monthly training sessions of women elected representatives (WER) have been conducted since June 2021 to develop leadership qualities among women, so they can collectively bring about positive changes in their village.
Kamlesh is a WER member and a member of the gram panchayat who regularly attends the project’s training sessions. In one session, she raised the issue of the electricity problem in the village. In response, the project team informed the WER members about the Citizen Information and Support Centre (CISC) operating under the project and provided its toll free number.
In September 2021, Kamlesh and other WER participants called the toll free number and reported their concern. The CISC facilitator provided them with the phone number of the executive engineer of the electricity department, and advised them to lodge a complaint there. When this was done by the women’s collective, the official in charge of electricity fixed the transformer the very next day, and forty families got back their electricity.
(Authors: Saurav Srivastav and Debika Goswami)
Saurav is project associate, Nuh and Debika is Senior Program Lead, Local Participation and Sustainability)