Having struggled to keep alive the legacy of its most famous son, Hindi littérateur Munshi Prem Chand, the residents of his native village Lamhi are now going to be integrated with the rest of the world through modern technology. Lamhi has been chosen to be the first e-village of Varanasi district.
Confirming the development, Varanasi District Magistrate Pranjal Yadav said: “Lamhi has been chosen to be the first e-village in Varanasi. The e-village project is a big one”.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Sadar), Ankit Agarwal said Lamhi’s name was finalised last week by a district-level committee after at least three villages were short-listed. The proposal had been sent more than six months ago.
“There were no particular criteria, but it appeared that the officials connected to the village had shown greater interest,” said Agarwal. The fact that Lamhi is situated close to the city may have helped in its selection.
Agarwal said a team of Lekhpal and village development officials has been constituted to carry out some survey pertaining to the e-village project. The survey would collect data on a total of 36 points, including the details of land, villagers’ personal information, income, existing facilities and other such things. The data would be digitised and then integrated to the online services that would ensure the villagers get all basic information and services at the click of a mouse.
Every villager, the total population is said to be well over 1,000, would be given a unique identification number, which he can use to login into the website and get the requisite information or services.
Lekhpal (Sadar tehsil), Dhyan Chandra Sonkar, who has been conducting surveys for the past four days, said: “Lot of details is involved. The name of Lamhi was proposed almost perchance, when we were all asked to send names of villages that could be fit for the project. One of our officials mentioned it and, probably because it is a famous place, it got selected.”
Suresh Chandra Dubey, the man associated with keeping the legacy of Munshi Prem Chand alive at the village, said over phone: “It has been 78 years since Munshiji breathed his last. In these years, a lot of things should have already happened. Nevertheless, it is better late than never. I can say that both the central and the state governments have begun paying more attention to the village in the last few months.”
Dubey turned the residence of Munshi Prem Chand into a library, where he has kept all his works without getting single-penny assistance from the government. He also informed that a research institute on Munshi Premchand, of which the Banaras Hindu University would be the nodal institution, is coming up adjacent to the Prem Chand’s residence.