Let me ask you a question:
Are you also like the regular folks of Delhi who complain about…
Overcrowded Metro trains
Difficulty in finding parking spaces
The scarcity of drinking water and many other problems?
Delhi has become one of the most crowded cities in the country, and one of the major parts of Delhi’s population is of immigrants from other states. And there’s a genuine reason forcing them to leave their villages and migrate to Delhi – Shortage of Electricity.
Today I shall talk about it referencing my hometown – Lakshminagar (Muzaffarnagar).
It is one of the most prosperous regions in Uttar Pradesh, and yet, the present situation of its villages is worrisome.
There was a time when being a farmer used to be a respectable thing.
Villages used to glow with happiness and joy because the youth had no intention of abandoning them.
Life was slow paced and content, and then came the ‘information age’.
People started getting aware of better employment opportunities in cities – white collar jobs, blue collar jobs and eventually, agriculture became a profession not to look forward to.
Young people started migrating to cities, and the trend gained momentum in no time.
Most of the young boys of my village have migrated to Delhi or some other city. There might be many reasons behind the trend, but one of the primary reasons is the shortage of electricity.
Most of the villages in my area receive only 6-7 hours of power supply, and that too is not certain. Sometimes, you may have to do without electricity for 4-5 days in a row.
Implications of Shortage of Electricity
- You cannot study when you need to.
- There’s no option but to eat food in the dark.
- One cannot sleep peacefully in summers because fans are useless without electricity. For how long can one use the hand-fans anyway? You can either keep the hand-fan in momentum or sleep – you can’t handle both simultaneously. (I recently saw a small baby having heat rashes on her entire body in a Faizallapur village in Baghpat. That was was horrible)
- Farmers face an awful time irrigating their fields, especially in summers, which, ultimately affects crops (not to mention the negative impact it has on GDP)
- You cannot even think of setting up your own small business, or for that matter, any activity that requires electricity and if I am not wrong, most of them need power, right?
Lack of Power Forced a Young Tailor Leave His Village
There was a talented young tailor in my village that used to stitch beautiful clothes. He sewed many trousers and shirts for me. He used to ask me if I could help him get some tailoring work in Delhi.
I asked him why he wanted to leave the village and work in Delhi?
He replied, “Brother, I want to grow my work, but here, in the village, I cannot even imagine that. Our village gets the power supply for only 6-7 hours a day, and there are times when there’s no power supply for 4-5 days in a row. I need to iron clothes after stitching and unavailability of electricity cause unnecessary delay. Many of my customers complain about it, and I am losing business. I want to leave. Can’t take it anymore.”
When I visited his house next time, he was gone. He left the village and went to Uttarakhand to find work. In the town, he was the owner of his shop. Now, he works as a labourer in some garment export factory. Isn’t that ironic!
And this is just one story; there are thousands of another such tales buried in the villages of Western UP.
Lack of electricity is forcing people to leave their villages, and as a result, cities have become over-crowded.
Go to any village in Western UP, you’ll find many homes either vacant or half-vacant, and the situation is worsening every year.
People are abandoning villages, and cities are getting over-crowded because of the shortage of electricity.