Ram Dulari has to cover 150 km distance to come to Ranchi from Gumla to meet her husband who is in jail in Ranchi on the charge of theft.To cover the distance,she has to spend more than Rs 200 on the bus fare and food,in addition to losing her day’s wage of Rs 150.
Dulari’s saga is common to hundreds of relatives of prisoners across Jharkhand. Apart from the loss of money,most of them had to suffer and grease the palms of the jail authorities to secure permission to meet their beloved prisoners.
This may change if the state government’s plan E- Mulakat takes off.Under the plan,the state government has to equip the Common Service Centres(Pragya Kendras) with video conference system.Through video conference,it plans to facilitate the relatives to go to the Pragya Kendra near their homes and use the video conference system to interact with their concerned prisoners.
To make this possible,the state Home Secretary JB Tubid has asked the Deputy Commissioners to ensure that all Pragya Kendras had the system to hold video conference between the prisoners and their relatives.
But the task is cut out.In all,3292 of total 4562 panchayat in Jharkhand have Pragya kendras.Of them less than 1200 Pragya Kendras were functional.None of the owners of these kendras had video conference system.In many panchayats, National Informatics Centre,government’s body involved in implementation of its e -governance plan,had not provided Internet connectivity.
For instance,in Khunti district,many Pragya Kendras had no Internet connectivity.”Though we lack the resources,we will try to implement the plan E Mulaqat by asking the NIC to connect Pragya Kendras and train its owners to hold video conference”,said Khunti DC Rakesh Kumar.