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Electricity brings twin Tral villages out of darkness

But last month the twin villages were finally supplied electricity for the first time many decades after the basic modern amenity began illuminating lives of the people in Kashmir.

Residents of Wantiwen Satura and Wuzul Kulnad tribal villages were connected with cell phone networks but had to travel to neighbouring settlements for recharging their mobiles.

But last month the twin villages were finally supplied electricity for the first time many decades after the basic modern amenity began illuminating lives of the people in Kashmir. 

Wantiwen Satura and Wuzul Kulnad are inhabited by tribal people who still live in mud houses and huts, but lived in darkness just about 12 kilometers away from a sub-division headquarters of Tral in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The villagers who were forced to live primitive lifestyles without electricity now feel over the moon, saying their children’s education can turn around for better.

"We are now very happy that we finally have electricity in our village, now our children can study well and progress in life,” Nazir Ahmad Gojer of Wantiwen village told Greater Kashmir. 

“My two daughters left their education midway due to darkness in our village." 

Students from the community are excited for not having to study under oil lanterns and candles after sundown.

Gojer, 30, is now a relaxed man. For many years, he would travel to neighbouring villages Satura and Hajin daily to recharge his mobile phone because there was no electricity at his home.

"We have been waiting for decades to get bulbs in our homes. Despite being so close to the Satura in tehsil Aripal, our lives revolved around kerosene lamps and candles. Not anymore," Gojer said.

“We would wind up our work by sunset. Our school-going children were depending on lanterns and candles for their study at night,” said Gul Mohammad of Wazul Kulnad.

His wife said life before electricity arrived in their village last month was a nightmare.

“Men in our village hardly received marriage proposals from outside as parents were hesitant of sending their daughters or sisters into darkness," she said.

Three newly installed 63 kilowatt (KW) electric transformers have now changed the life of the two villages.

Within days of the installation, many families bought bulbs, charger plugs and television sets. Power cuts are still common during winters, but people say they are happy with even the three hours of electricity they receive a day.

This week, when officials of the electricity department reached their village many families ordered sweets for them. 

“It can’t go better than this that we now have electricity in our village. I can now watch TV serials and movies and my brothers can also watch cricket matches,” said Mehnaz, a young tribal girl.

The twin villages got electricity under the central government’s scheme, Deen Dayal Upadaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY) executed through Tata Projects Limited.

The villagers say they were ignored earlier alleging their area MLA was not interested in developing tribal areas in his constituency.

A Kashmiri writer and broadcaster, Mushtaq Ahmad Mushtaq, bagged the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award for literature in Kashmiri language on Wednesday.

Delhi Public School Ganderbal celebrated its annual day at its Sehpora campus here on Wednesday.

Source: Greater Kashmir