Consistent with the public policy of providing ‘electricity to all’, the Company has drawn the broad agenda of improving the power supply in rural areas under a unique scheme that combines network engineering with social engineering.
As a first-time measure, the services of an NGO have been introduced to undertake social intermediation in villages, cultivate commercial behaviour among consumers and promote both energy and water conservation as an act of public good. Immediate impact is seen in the spread of computer literacy, improvement in agricultural produce and enhancement of small trade as an outcome of reliable power supply. Community participation is encouraged to realise the benefits of electricity as a means of social upliftment and lifestyle improvement. Local self-help groups are encouraged to build partnerships with the Company and undertake such activities as bill distribution on contractual terms. A 'Village Contact Person' now helps NPCL in network surveillance, credit control and complaint handling.
Quality of life is an enabler in ushering in new mindsets that help improve the environment in which the utility has to operate. To drive home the advantage of improved electric lighting (now available day-long), active interventions have been made in promoting basic literacy among women by holding night classes, which are being funded by NPCL. The result is that NPCL is today not viewed merely as an organisation with commercial interests, but one with a social agenda.