Life without internet: Konaseema youth, techies go looking for the elusive 'signal' following ban

Techies packed their bags and travelled to the homes of their friends or relatives living in nearby towns

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  31 May 2022 1:30 AM GMT
Life without internet: Konaseema youth, techies go looking for the elusive signal following ban

Konaseema: Imagine a life without the internet. You cannot use WhatsApp or post on social media. This is the sad situation of the youths in Amalapuram town following the suspension of internet services for the last five days. This came in the wake of the violence that erupted over the renaming of the Konaseema district.

The internet shutdown has affected college students and techies working from home in Amalapuram, Razole, Ambajipeta, Kothapeta, P. Gannavaram Jaggannapeta, Mukkamala, Dindi, Ravulapalem, Razole, Mummidivaram, Inavilli, and Mukteswaram. Many of them waited for one-two days but when officials decided to extend the rules, techies packed their bags and travelled to the homes of their friends or relatives living in nearby towns.

According to the police, before the violence in Amalapuram town, the accused had sent a communication through WhatsApp groups and SMS. This resulted in the burning of two APSRTC buses, two-wheelers, and setting afire the houses of transport minister Pinipe Viswaroop and MLA P. Satish. To bring the situation under control, the director-general of police (DGP) K.V Rajendranath Reddy suspended internet services and closed down all cyber cafes.

In search of internet

Youth and techies who found out that a few areas near the town were getting internet signals headed to those places to complete their pending works or communicate with their colleagues. Every day, the Perupalem beach and Godavari coastal areas are crowded with people sitting with their laptops by the beach side and working. "When I explained my situation to my team head, they did not believe me and asked me to complete the work by the deadline. I feared losing my job. I had to sit beside the Godavari for hours to complete my work every day," said a techie from Amalapuram.

Bhavya (name changed), who works for films, had to travel up and down to Amalapuram every day. "We have to settle money for some of the staff every day and without internet, we cannot make transactions. I had to stay at my sister's house in Rajahmundry and travel to Amalapuram for a film shoot and return by evening," said Bhavya, who is from Hyderabad.

'Comp-offs' come in handy

Many who depend on desktops have no option but to use their compensatory offs or take leaves for loss of pay. "The problem is, I work on my desktop, so I cannot shift to another place like other techies. My work has stopped for the last five days when I had to take compensatory offs. If this continues, I will be asked to take a leave on loss of pay," said a Tripura techie from Ambajipeta.

Techies ready for a strike

"I work for a software company based in Hyderabad. No internet for the last five days is a complete failure of the government. We cannot just sit and wait for the internet. We are ready to go for a strike from tomorrow if the situation continues," said a software employee from Amalapuram. According to the people of Konaseema, officials haven't given any information about the situation. They have to either stay calm or run to different places in search of the internet.

The elderly remember the old days

While the youth and people addicted to mobile phones are struggling to find internet signals, the elderly are remembering the "good old days" when there were no phones and the internet. They said after so many years they could see their children and grandchildren sitting at home without phones in their hands, at least for a few hours.

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