English | Dzongkha Friday, July 20, 2018

Walk to talk

Dec 24, 2010

Mobile phones are everywhere. They are ubiquitous. Within a short span of time, they have made their presence felt, in different shapes and sizes, and heard, in varying ring-tones, in every nook and corner of the country. But in remote villages, owning them is one thing, keeping them running, quite another.

In Jarey Geog, Lhuentse, mobile phone owners must be willing to literally walk the extra mile to use their phones. Jarey is a remote village. It is located one day’s strenuous walk from Monggar town. It has no modern amenities, not even electricity. Villagers have to walk all the way to Monggar town to charge their phones.

According to the Jarey Gup, Kinzang Minjur, “about six houses have solar power, the rest depend on kerosene lamps.”

The six houses receive a constant stream of people, almost every day, who come to charge their mobile phones on one pretext or another.

Apart from the six houses in Jarey, the Lhadrong Community Primary School also has solar power.

The Principal, Dawa Tshering said “most of the teachers and other school staff come here to charge their phones. The villagers come to my house to charge their phones.”

Chado, a villager from Doremong, visits the principal’s house once every two days, walking for one hour to and fro, to charge his phone.

He said “we have to get everything done through the phone since our geog is far. We have difficulty getting it charged. The solar power at the principal’s house is helping us a lot.”

The villagers are looking forward to electricity which is due to arrive here in about two to three months from now. When that happens, they will no longer have to worry whether their battery will run out. It will be something to talk about.

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