In another example of driving technology and internet to clear a competitive exam, Sreenath K, a Kerala-based coolie, has leveraged online study material and free internet facility at a railway station to crack the state’s public service examination.
Sreenath has been earning his livelihood carrying heavy luggage at Ernakulam Junction in Kerala for the past five years.
Unlike his colleagues, he deftly balances the luggage on his shoulders and listens to his digital coursework at the same time - his teachers speaking to him through the earphones. A high school pass-out, he takes advantage of the free WiFi Internet service available at Ernakulam station to learn.
The WiFi service, launched in 2016 as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Digital India initiative, provides free Internet to passengers under Railwire, the retail broadband distribution model of RailTel Corporation of India Limited.
As of May 2018, at least 685 railway stations have been equipped with WiFi technology across the country, with the Indian Railways setting a target of providing this facility at all 8,500 stations by March 2019 at a cost of INR 700 crore.