I intend to keep the post short. I came across this link on Boing Boing about the village public telephones in Bangladesh.
A village public telephone is thus :
Each Village phone remains under the custody of a village pay phone operator, who is responsible for extending the services to the customers for both incoming and outgoing calls, collection of call charges according to prescribed rates and proper maintenance of telephone set. The operator’s income is derived from the difference between the air time charges paid by customer/s and the billed amount required to be paid by the VP operator along with a flat charge for each incoming call.
I believe that this model can be suitably adapted for India scenario too. However, we would need someone ‘visionary’ to make this happen on a large scale. Much like the Grameen Bank which disburses microcredit for self help rural groups. Incidentally, Muhammad Yunus, pioneer of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh is being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year. (Details on New York Times; incase you are forced to sign in to read the issue- check out Bugmenot for logins).
Google search throws up a lot of interesting links.