An innovation (desi jugaad) by a farmer in remote Pipri (Awagan) village in Mangrulpir tehsil of Washim district in Vidarbha has become viral in many other villages in the district.
Sandip Awagan, a farmer, connected a cable TV wire to stainless steel plates and fixed it on a bamboo pole at his house to create a makeshift mobile tower. As soon as Awagan connected the cable wire to his mobile phone, connectivity improved dramatically. Since then, Awagan’s daughter has been attending her online classes without any network issues. Following in Awagan’s footsetps, at least 40 households in Pipri (Awagan) have installed steel plate towers on their rooftops.
“I got this idea during the second wave of Covid when we were sitting idle at home. However, I worked on it during the third wave when cases started increasing and we anticipated another lockdown,” Awagan said. “Forget the internet, we can’t even make proper calls from our village. However, after this invention, we are watching YouTube, movies, and even using WhatsApp,” says Awagan, who has seen the same kind of plates in WiFi routers.
“In the earlier days, we used to connect a TV antenna in the same way. When we used to adjIn the earlier days, we used to connect a TV antenna in the same way. When we used to adjust it, signals used to improve. I decided to try using the same method for mobile signals and it worked,” Awagan says.