By Vanshika Thakur
India’s Anil Chaudhary, an umpire in the international panel of the ICC, is now a hero in his ancestral village in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh after solving the long-standing connectivity problem in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.
Chaudhary, who was to be in the Indian-South African ODI series before the pandemic set in, left for his native Dangrol village in UP on March 15 intending to stay for a week.
However, he had to stay put in his village with the nationwide lockout being implemented. With zero cell network coverage in Dangrol, life for the 42-year-old has almost come to a standstill.
Whether it was ICC ‘s online umpire programs or talking to his loved ones in Delhi, Chaudhary had to walk more than half a kilometer into the paddy fields, climb a tree next to a tubewell and then get some network (if lucky enough).
However, after a telecom firm called him and set up a cell tower in its village, the terrifying exercise no longer exists.
“The effort should never have been so helpful to our village. There is a Jalandhar professor now in a position to take classes. Students are happy because they don’t have to sit in the fields now, fight mosquitoes and attend classes online, “Chaudhary said.
Ramkumar, a village native who runs a small bank transaction facility, used to struggle with money transfer but is now satisfied after the new tower begins. “It used to take three-four days to move money earlier, it only takes a few hours now,” he said.
“I want to thank Umpire Chaudhary for his initiative. He is our hero. This is a small problem in the middle of the pandemic but it’s taken us a long way. Our panchayat leader Manish Chauhan and local MLA TejinderNarwal talked to Jio Network, who did the job and we all thank them for making life much easier for us all here, “he added.
The appreciation and blessings are more than enough for umpire Chaudhary.
“They are now asking me to fix all of their other issues. Yet I told them I’m just an umpire,’ chuckled Chaudhary before signing off.