Rabi Jamatia, also known as the ‘Charger Man’ is a 26-year-old farmer who resides in a village 09uy4gwfqa 70 km from Agartala. The nickname he got is due to his efforts to make sure that no matter what the circumstances are, every villager should get an ample amount of electricity to charge their phones.
Addressing the issue of electricity in their village, Rabi said,” For the last four years , despite the electricity department’s intervention, our electricity issue remained unresolved. To keep the village connected with the rest of the state , we needed to charge our mobile phones. We may not have a fast Internet connection here , but communication through phone is important, especially in case of emergencies.”
The “Charger Man”, the name itself somehow suggests the reason behind naming Rabi this. Rabi collects low battery or dead phones from all over the villages, then he takes the phones to his friends’ and relatives’ homes, gets them charged and returns them to the owners. Incase if this isn’t possible, then he takes them to the local shops in the nearby market and pays Rs. 10 per 2 hours to get the phones charged.
Recently, two big Solar Microgrids has been installed on two opposite sides of the village, which is capable to beat the extent of electricity that the traditional grid used to generate. Rabi says,” The officails have been frequently visiting our village and as I know Hindi and a little English as well they look out for me. The officials told us that these panels are capable enough to meet the electricity requirement of the village and that has been proven in the test runs.” Rabi and the villagers are trying to be positive that this long standing issue will finally be settled down.
The Bio-village solar hamlet project has taken this village under the program. It is a project that is being executed all over the country and it promotes organic farming and a natural way of generating income through livestock rearing and other income-generating methods.” In Tripura, it has been tagged with the solar hamlet project under the name Tripura Renewable Energy Development Agency (TREDA) and this village has been taken up as a pilot project” said Joint Director TREDA Debbrata Sukla Das.
According to resident Chandra Kanta Jamatia, the village was firstly electrified five years earlier. But It started to have malfunctions in a short period. Even after being fixed, it didn’t stay in order. Whether it is the street lights or the big bio gas plants, all faced major issues due to electricity.
The solar grids are greatly looked upon with hope by the villagers for their issue with electricity. The officials also claim that Rs. 70 Lakh has been spent on installing the solar energy-based equipment and machinery across the village. The project is likely to be commenced a few days after Durga Puja.