ANANDPUR, India (APP) – Ram Kishore long search for his son’s future bride finally came to an end when electricity finally came to his village in rural north India this year.

Only after the installation of power pylons to connect thousands of villages to the national grid was Kishore able to persuade the prospective bride’s parents to part with their daughter.

Now he is all smiles as he sits under a glowing light bulb in his single-room home in Anandpur village. Just 145 miles (230 kilometres) from the capital New Delhi, the village never had electricity until now.

“I will personally invite my daughter-in-law’s family to visit us and look at the electricity meter,” the 60-year-old former labourer told AFP proudly after his house was connected.

Anandpur is just one beneficiary of an ambitious planto bring electricity to 18,452 Indian villages, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his Independence Day speech last August.

Government figures released last year showed that more than 300 million people in India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, still had no access to electricity. Per-capital electricity consumption in the country is barely one third of the global average, according to recent reports.