For Jhanvi, light at the end of the tunnel

Jhanvi, a Class 10 student from Palathuruthu in Chendamangalam panchayat, on Monday received the good news that she had long been waiting for. Her tin-roofed ramshackle house, located on an isolated plot, will soon be electrified.

Having waited for nearly a year in the face of opposition from neighbouring plot owners, the news could not have come a day sooner for Jhanvi. The nearest electric post is across a canal and drawing electric lines needed consent from landowners en route, which was not forthcoming. The Hindu had reported on the plight of the family last week.

With the dispute unresolved, Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) authorities reported the matter to Additional District Magistrate Sabu K. Isaac, who held a hearing on Monday, the second on the issue. He directed KSEB officials to do the needful to give power connection to the impoverished family of four. Like at the previous meeting, the disputing landowners did not turn up on Monday.

Jeeva Ratheesh, Jhanviโ€™s mother, could barely conceal her joy on learning about the imminent power connection. โ€œMy daughterโ€™s studies will no longer suffer because of lack of power connection,โ€ she said.

Two posts and drawing of electric lines over 44 metres are all that is required to electrify the house, which will be done free of cost since the family belongs to the Below Poverty Line category. โ€œIt is hardly a dayโ€™s work and we will do it as soon as we receive the order,โ€ said Archana M.K., assistant executive engineer, Chendamangalam electrical section.

Since her return from her school hostel in Kollam in March, following the lockdown, Jhanvi has been relying on an erratic solar-powered light for her studies. On overcast days, the power would not last long enough and to charge her motherโ€™s smartphone, her only tool for online classes, the youngster had to depend on the benevolence of neighbours.

Her mid-term exams got under way online on Monday and Jhanvi hopes that she will not have to write another exam worrying about the lack of a power connection.


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