Nepal | May 27, 2020

Repair and maintenance: Lockdown teaches all new skills

Bijay Laxmi Duwal
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Lockdown. Mostly silence and stillness outside. But it is a different story inside the homes. From the whirring of fans to the vrooming of vacuum cleaners, or the humming of refrigerators to the wheezing of hairdryers, there is no lockdown for our electric appliances.

Technician Sujeet Regmi, also co-founder of Sajilo Marmat Sewa noted, “The use of different electrical and electronic appliances — from bathroom to kitchen — is higher when we stay at home. So, if anything breaks down now, the household will face trouble in their daily life.”

As there is less chance of getting an expert to look at the appliances that have stopped working during lockdown, many are trying their best to repair the broken machines themselves. They are either opting for YouTube videos on repair work or consulting technicians concerned. For instance, Sapana Thala from New Baneshwore managed to repair her damaged water pump herself with guidance from a plumber at Sajilo Marmat Sewa via a video call. The pump stopped working on April 18 and she was at her wit’s end, but she remembered reading about the Sewa.

“The company gave me their plumber’s Viber number. I was asked to share the problems with photos of the motor and taught how to repair it via a video call. I did as he instructed and was able to fix it.”

Rukesh Suwal from Suryabinayak also faced problems with his mobile phone. “I could not switch on my phone. I tried changing SIM cards and all else, nothing worked. Finally, I followed a YouTube video to switch it on — hold on the volume and power button at same time for 10 seconds, it worked,” explained Suwal.

However, he is still unable to repair his punctured bike.

Kashyap Shakya who is working from home faced difficulties regarding his work as his laptop crashed. He also consulted Sajilo Marmat Sewa. “I liked their service. Even in the lockdown, they came and picked my laptop from my home and returned it within two days giving all details in a note on the desktop. Their service charge was also very reasonable,” he said. And “the most commendable thing is that they kept follow-ups for further updates even after the service.”

Sajilo Marmat Sewa that had been closed after lockdown resumed only three services from April 20— plumbing, computer and electrical — as Online Troubleshooting free of cost through video calls to address mechanical problems during lockdown. However, it halted its service from May 15 after COVID-19 cases were detected in the Valley.

Photos courtesy: Sajilo Marmat Sewa

“For first 10 days of service, we taught them to carry out repair works themselves online. Then we started home service for emergency cases. For this, we managed safety measures like PPE, gloves, masks, sanitiser and pass card for four of our technicians,” said Regmi.

He said they got around 197 requests in those 22 days.

Another technician Ram Sundar Gwacha also got many complaints regarding household electrical appliances like refrigerator, washing machine, waterpump, air conditioner among others during the lockdown. Gwacha, who used to provide solutions for electric problems at SR Electrical Service workshop on normal days, has limited his service to his locality in Banepa now.

“It is not problematic to provide home service in my locality. I get many inquiries from Chautara, Sindupalchowk, Ramechhap, but I am consulting them via phone calls for those equipment which can be repaired by themselves.”

He observes computer is overused during the lockdown due to which he is getting the highest number of calls dealing with computer.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 21, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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