ENTIRE VILLAGE TURNS OFF ELECTRONICS
A siren goes off at 7pm every evening in Vadgaon village in Sangli district, an indication to all residents to switch off their TV sets and mobile phones.
A village in India's Maharashtra state has declared "independence" from two modern-day addictions - television and mobile internet. At least, for a couple of hours every day.
The two instruments of "addiction" can be switched on when the village council sounds the siren again at 8.30pm.
"We decided at the village meeting on 14 August - the eve of India's Independence Day - that we needed to stop this addiction," Vijay Mohite, president of
the village council, told BBC Hindi. "From the next day, all television sets and mobiles were shut down when the siren went off."
Vadgaon has a population of about 3,000 people, made up largely of farmers and sugar mill workers.
Mr Mohite said children had become dependent on TV and mobile phones for online classes during the Covid-19 pandemic. As educational institutions reopened this year, children returned to regular classes in schools and colleges.
"But they returned
[from class] to either play on their mobile phones or sit and watch television," he said, adding that many adults were also spending too much time on their devices and not talking to each other.
Vandana Mohite (not related to Vijay Mohite) said she was finding it difficult to supervise her two children "because they would be focused completely on playing with the phone or watching TV".
"Since this new norm began, it is far easier for my husband to return home from work and help
them study and I can peacefully do my work in the kitchen," she added...read more