Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Connecting the Unconnected

Distant Dream Comes True for Chowra Residents with Commencement of Internet Services in the Island

Port Blair, Aug 11: It was something unbelievable for the residents of remote Chowra Island in the Central Nicobars when their mobile phones started showing Wifi signal yesterday. They weren’t able to believe that anything like this could happen in their island, where mobile connectivity too remained a dream.

The BSNL has set up a VSAT in the island, which was tested successfully yesterday 10th of August 2019. Setting up of VSAT is a part of the project of reaching atleast one unreachable area and Chowra was the first to be chosen.  

The residents and people posted in the island were seen making video calls to their near and dears with excitement. The excitement on their faces after having connected with their families in Port Blair was pretty evident.

The first video call was made by the Deputy Commissioner, Nicobar District to Chowra, which was uninterrupted. This was followed by the Chief Captain of Car Nicobar, Mr. Martin Luther joining the DC.

When Andaman Chronicle called the DC Nicobar, Miss Monica Priyadarshini after having learnt about internet connectivity in Chowra Island, the DC expressed that in its bid to connect the remotest of the islands through internet, the District Administration had decided to reach one such remote island in 100 days and Chowra was the first to be chosen. Attempts are being made to connect more such remote islands of the Nicobar District in the near future.

Monica also explained that the VSAT installed by the BSNL in the island covers a radius of 20 kilometers. With the successful installation of VSAT, the District Administration will be able to deliver better to the residents. Smart classes for children and many such things will also commence soon, said the DC.  

Speaking to Andaman Chronicle, the Chairperson Tribal Council, Nancowry, Mrs Ayesha Majid said, "I got to know about the commencement of Internet WiFi in Chowra Island through the people out there. It's a great achievement of the Nicobar District Administration. Internet facilities in such remote places will ensure that people never feel isolated. They can now connect with the world. I'm extremely grateful to the Hon'ble Lt. Governor, the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, the DC Nicobar and BSNL for taking personal interest to ensure that the remote island like Chowra is connected through internet. Such facilities would also ensure that people especially students are able to learn things by making best use of technology. At the same time the Administration will also able to keep a track of the issues being faced by the remote islanders. I am hoping that soon other remote islands will be connected".

Meanwhile the President Nicobar Youth Association, Rayhaan Pasha expressed, "I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that Internet WiFi has commenced in Chowra Island. We could never think about it in the wildest of our dreams. The tribals of Chowra and the people posted in the island are extremely overjoyed with this facility and have been praising the Nicobar District Administration and BSNL for making this happen. I personally express my gratitude to the Hon'ble Lt Governor, Admiral D.K. Joshi (Retd), the Chief Secretary, Shri Chetan Bhushan Sanghi and the DC Nicobar, Miss Monica Priyadarshini who took personal interest to ensure that the remote island of Nicobar is connected with the world. I am positive that more such remote islands will be connected soon".