Today, when many Indian villages are struggling to gain access to electricity, 22-year-old Anju Yadav, the sarpanch of Chandawali village in Faridabad district of Haryana has installed 72 solar-powered CCTV cameras to curb the crime rate in the area.
Anju, who is a second year M.A student of Hindi, always wanted to help make the village secure. She participated and won in the panchayat elections about six months ago after the Haryana government made it mandatory for candidates to have completed their education up to Class 10.
Chandawali, which has a population of 10,000 residents, now has CCTV cameras installed at all street corners.
Picture for representation only. Source: Flickr
“I visited many localities with my father and selected lanes and crossings. I got in touch with a company that deals in CCTV cameras, and we went ahead with the project,” Anju told The Hindustan Times.
She added that monitoring crime is a priority because an industrial model town is coming up next to the village and residents are concerned about the increase in the number of outsiders in the village. The young sarpanch has not only recognized the need for CCTVs for crime investigation, but she also adopted chose to adopt an eco-friendly approach for it. The cost of installing the camera came to Rs. 11 lakh and an additional four lakh was spent on solar panels.
Anju used panchayat funds for the project and sought assistance from her parents to monitor the video control room, which is set up in her house. Her father is a farmer and her mother is a homemaker. “When I am at college, my parents monitor the feeds. When I return home, I take up this responsibility,” she told The Hindustan Times.
The police officials in the area are delighted with this proactive approach to crime prevention. “Many false complaints have ceased to come and crime rate has dipped. Many people who would be selling illegal liquor in the night or would be doing any nefarious activities feel afraid to do so,” said sub-inspector Basant Kumar. Following Chandawali’s lead, Machgar, a neighbouring village has installed 150 cameras as well.