06 Aug 2022  |   06:18am IST

In Morpila, everyone’s busy trying to catch the network

Students and job-seekers have to travel distances to find network; the situation becomes worse during rains; online meetings are held on the top of hillocks to get a mobile range
In Morpila, everyone’s busy trying to catch the network

Christanand Pednekar

QUEPEM: It is a daily hunt for most, especially students and those who need to be connected to their workplaces or businesses. The hunt is for a treasure called connectivity. 

They walk miles through village or jungle roads brandishing their mobile phones hoping to catch it. In some places, there is one specific spot where one bar or two of network shows up on the phone and that’s where everyone lands up to connect to the outside world

While the IT department has promised fibre connectivity to every home in Goa, there are still places like in Quepem which are grappling with either nonexistent or extremely poor mobile phone or internet connectivity. Ta times only a walk for miles gets then some network. Yes, this is Circa 2022

Aryan Gaonkar, a local from Borigotov village under Morpirla panchayat in Quepem constituency said that along with the scarcity of water, mobile phone connectivity is a major issue in his village. 

“Our ward Borigotov is facing connectivity issues. Every person from our village is using mobile phone but to get connectivity they must have to remain outdoors with the hope of catching network. At the time of lockdown students from our village had to walk for miles and sit on hillocks to get connectivity,” Gaonkar said.

Nowadays, students have to do their project work online but due to poor connectivity, they have to travel outside their villages to get connectivity. “Because of this reason, the students have to frequent a cyber cafe which is more than 12 km away from our village. In case of emergency if we want to call an ambulance or police it is nearly impossible to get timely help,” he said. 

Vinay Velip, a local from Dabhe village said that during the pandemic situation, all the schools and colleges started taking online classes.

“But most of the students in the village area couldn't attend these classes due to network connectivity issues. It was the duty of the village panchayat to look into this matter as most of the students’ studies suffered because of this,” Velip said.

“Our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modiji says ‘Let’s make digital India’. But how can that happen if there is no mobile and internet connectivity?” Velip asked.

“If they want development then connectivity is important. Even job seekers are coming here on the hillocks for the internet and mobile network for attending job interview calls. This is 2022 and there is but no mobile network, no internet facilities in rural areas,” Velip said.

Paresh Velip, a local student of Dabem village said, “If we have an urgent online meeting with an institute or have to fill online application for work, then we have to go on hilltops, which is a big pain, especially during rains. We request our government to solve this issue and let students and young adults do their work smoothly without any hurdle,” he said.

 Morpilla is struggling to play catch-up. With connectivity and with civilization, in this day and age.