Lesson 57: Electricity reaches Leisang in Manipur

At 10 pm on April 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that Leisang in Manipur had become “powered and empowered.”

When the bulbs lit up in Leisang village in Manipur’s Senapati district at 5.30 pm on April 28, it became the last village in India to be linked to the national power grid.

With electricity now reaching all 597, 464 census villages, the government’s aim of providing all Indian households access to electricity is a step closer to reality.

A village is declared to be electrified if 10% of its households can access power along with public institutions such as schools, the panchayat office and health centres.

The task was challenging because the last of the electrified villages were in remote locations, in states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Moving men and material was difficult not only because of inhospitable terrain, but also because some villages were located in violence affected areas. The Indian Air Force helped out by dropping material in some far-flung places.

“That night, none of us slept due to the excitement. The children kept running around in the fields,” Lalboi Haokip, a Leisang resident says of the day that his village became electrified.

Satlen Haokip, another resident says, “Now that I can save money on kerosene and candles, I will buy a television set.”

A) Vocabulary:  Please make sentences with the following words. The sentences should show that you understand the meaning of the word.

Empower – to give someone the power to do something
Power grid – an electricity supply network that carries electricity from a power plant to the user
Census – an official count
Inhospitable terrain – a harsh and difficult place to live in, a place that is not suitable for humans to live in
Violence –   forceful actions or words that hurt people
Far-flung – distant, remote
Resident – a person who lives somewhere permanently

B) Discussion Points:

  1. Please find Manipur on the map. Which region is it in?
  2. Please name three of the neighbouring states.
  3. Name the capital city of Manipur.
  4. Where is your hometown? Is it in a remote area?
  5. Do all households in your hometown have electricity?
  6. What does it mean when a village is declared “electrified?”
  7. In what state is your hometown?
  8. What is the capital city of your home state?
  9. How do lives change when you have electricity? Discuss.
  10. What did Mr. Modi mean when he said that Leisang has become “powered and empowered”?