PRAYAGRAJ, July 5 -- Bijli Sakhis have taken the road to empowerment in rural areas of Prayagraj district, taking up job of reading electricity meters, generating bills and collecting the billed amount.

Ranjana, 30, a mother of two children aged 10 and seven years, is one such Bijli Sakhi.

A resident of Dhokari village in Phulpur development block of the district, she is off on government business every morning after quickly completing her household chores.

For the next five hours from 10am each working day, Ranjana visits home after home. She walks long stretches under the scorching sun, reading electricity meters and generating bills using a smart device hanging around her neck. She quickly collects the billed amount and then deposits ...