BENGALURU/MYSURU: Work from home and online classes could be an enjoyable and relaxed way of working and pursuing one’s education. But it is not exactly a boon for everyone. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of professionals and students across the state who are struggling without internet and phone connectivity.
Every day at Varamballi in Hosanagara taluk of Shivamogga district, techie Sindhu N leaves her home carrying her laptop, a lightweight table and chair, and walks one kilometre to her farm where she works under a hut covered in a polythene sheet. This is her cubicle as this is the only place in the village where she gets some internet connection.
She leaves home at 9.15 am to reach her “work station” by 9.30 am. In the afternoon, she comes back home to charge her laptop and return to her hut. She does this six days a week.Sindhu, a techie working with a private firm in Bengaluru, moved to her village in March 2020 when the first lockdown was announced. It has been more than 15 months and her struggle continues.
Initially, she travelled to her uncle’s house in Hosanagara taluk which is 8 km away. There, too, she would get signals only intermittently. Later she started going to Sonale, where her brother stayed and which is some 5 km from her village. But when the Lockdown 2 was announced, she could not travel.
Connectivity a big issue
“One day, during my morning walk, I noticed some signal near our farm and my father constructed the hut,” Sindhu said.But with the monsoon setting in, there is a new problem as the hut cannot ward off heavy rain. “My colleagues are cooperative. But I cannot keep giving them excuses not to work,’’ she said.
Vinayak Prabhu, a BCom graduate from the village, had sent letters to the PMO and CMO in 2017. Instructions to officials followed, but the situation did not improve. People in villages along the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border in Hanur taluk of Chamarajanagar too go through a similar struggle.
“We just have a 2G network and have to take the bike and go till Nala Road where we get good network and work from there. A few of them have taken rooms on rent near the locality,” said Rajendra, a BPO employee who has returned to Hoogyam.