How free Indian Railways WiFi made this coolie's civil services dreams come true
Sreenath K carries luggage at Ernakulam Junction in Kerala for the last five years with earphones firmly stuck in his ears. Apparently, on first look, one may think that he enjoys music while working. But unlike other colleagues of his, Sreenath is different.
Sreenath K carries luggage at Ernakulam Junction in Kerala for the last five years with earphones firmly stuck in his ears. Apparently, on first look, one may think that he enjoys music while working. But unlike other colleagues of his, Sreenath is different. He listens to his digital coursework at work - his teachers' words are reaching him through the earphones. Significantly, it helped him to clear the written test of the Kerala Public Service Commission. Sreenath said that he appeared for the examination thrice in order to clear the same.
A high school pass-out, he is taking full advantage of the free WiFi Internet service available at Ernakulam station to enhance his knowledge and thereby improve his position. "I have appeared thrice for the exam and this is the first time I used the WiFi at the station. What I do is put on my earphones and listen to the study material as I carry the luggage or solve questionnaires in my mind. This way I can study while I work. I revise all my work at night when I get free time," Sreenath told PTI over phone.
According to the report, Sreenath hails from Munnar, a town in the Western Ghats mountain range. Ernakulam is the nearest major railway station from Munnar.
As part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India initiative, the free Wi-Fi service in the railway stations was launched in 2016. This initiative, provides free Internet to passengers under Railwire, the retail broadband distribution model of RailTel Corporation of India Limited. At least 685 railway stations have been equipped with WiFi technology across the country by May 2008. Indian Railways is further targetting 8,500 railway stations to provide free Wi-Fi service by March 2019. The total cost for this project would be around Rs 700 crore.
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Sreenath said that the free Wi-Fi service at the stations has opened opportunities for him. The also said that he downloads his study materials from the station W-Fi at a speed of 20-40 mbps which helps him to save a lot of money on books.
He also revealed that he recently applied for exams that were advertised by the Railways for 62,000 Group D posts of trackman, cabinman, leverman, pointsman, gangman and others.