Giving a boost to the government’s plans to develop Harisal, a tribal village in Melghat region of the district as the first digital village in the country, guardian minister Pravin Pote said that it is their endeavour to make every city and village smart and digital by linking all schemes with technology.
Guiding a workshop organized at Bachat Bhavan to plan the digitalization of Harisal, Pote called for using solar energy to tide over the perennial absence of electricity in Melghat villages, stopping the tribals from going to Bhumkas for health problems and treatment and adopting Melghat villages by city colleges for digitalization of more villages.
MP Anand Adsul appreciated the launch of telemedicine facility at Harisal and e-learning projects at some places, but felt the need of providing electricity to every household.
District collector Kiran Gitte underlined the need of connectivity to make Harisal a digital village by May next. He said that BSNL has laid optical fibre up to Harisal for internet services and very soon the village would go wi-fi. He said that the gram panchayat would be made wi-fi using solar power while a 132KV line would be laid from Nepanagar in Madhya Pradesh to power the village by June next. He said that all the 406 families would be given solar pumps. In the absence of doctors, hospitals and prevalent malnutrition, infant mortality and mother mortality, good health facilities would be provided using telemedicine facility. He said that superspecialty hospital at Amravati would be connected to Harisal. He said that anganwadi workers, Asha and agriculture employees would also be trained.
Adwait Sawarkar from CM’s office said that Harisal project is one of the 27 monitored regularly from war room of the cabinet.
Nikita from Microsoft said that Harisal has 406 families and a population of 2241. There are 4 schools, 3 anganwadis, 1 PHC and 1 bank. The literacy rate is 71%. There are 3 self-help groups. Harisal has been selected for the project as it is the centre point for about 50 villages in Melghat. She said that basic facilities like health, education, employment, agriculture, electricity would be provided to every villager while the whole village would go wi-fi.
Nikesh from Microsoft presented the change Microsoft brought about in Kenya and said that if the hidden talent of the ruralites is exposed to the world through internet, it will bring about a positive change in their lives. He said that 60% population lived in rural parts and it needed to be equipped with technology.
SDO Pravin Thakare said that the government has plans to provide all facilities online to the digital village Harisal. He said that all departments have been working in that direction to achieve the goal. MLAs Sunil Deshmukh and Yashomati Thakur, Harisal Sarpanch Ganpatrao Gayan, PS member Jaiwantrao Deshmukh, SDO Venkatrao Rathod, BSNL General Manager Prasad, CEO Sunil Patil and DSO Wankhade were present on the dais.