Rural electrification is the process of bringing electrical power to rural and remote areas. Electricity is used not only for lighting and household purposes, but it also allows for mechanization of many farming operations, such as threshing, milking and hoisting grain for storage.According to the Ministry of Power figures, some 100,000 Indian villages out of a total 600,000 are yet to be electrified. Almost 40% of the country’s population, most of which lives in the villages is still deprived of reliable supply of electricity. Given this grim picture, solar lighting and power generation systems have emerged as a boon for scores of people across villages.
Besides the Government of India and Ministry of Power’s initiatives, there are various NGOs that are working with the same motive of providing the dark areas in the rural community with electricity.
Jyotirmoy Chatterji co-founder of the NGO, Project Chirag states that over 50% of India is below the age of 25 and it is a necessity to play an active role in the development of our nation. Project Chirag was an HR college initiative initially that was soon roped by the schools from suburban Mumbai. Jamnabai Narsee School & Ecole Mondiale, were amongst the few that took part to make a difference in the lives of villages across Maharashtra. Each rural household is provided with two solar lighting units; a fixed solar powered tube light and a solar powered portable lantern. A solar panel is constructed on the roof connected to these lights to charge them during the day. On a full day’s charge they can run up to 6 to 8 hours at night.
Liter of Light
An organization based in Philippines, globally spread across the globe to Argentina, Mexico, Switzerland and now in India. Dr Sudha Mohan, a professor who heard about the initiative during her term as a teacher at the University Of Saint Gallen Switzerland; introduced students Akhilesh Subramanian an Priyanka Bhosale from University of Mumbai to the project. The innovative concept involved making solar bottles. Solar bottles are made out of everyday items used in the villages and are very simple to make. A corrugated plastic sheet, make a hole in it of the same size as the bas of a liter plastic soft drink bottle, fit the bottle in the end and seal it with glue.
At the moment, there is no major internal funding. Hence, the duo is seeking sponsorships from willing firms. The future of Liters of Light aims to train local craftsmen in bottle preps & installation as many of them are aware of the solar energy and its process but don’t have enough equipments to carry out the activity by themselves.
Surya Uday Yojana (Sunipod)
Sunipod is a solar energy company in India that manufactures equipments & engineering solutions for solar power generation. Surya Uday Yojana (SUY) is the manufacturing company’s initiative to work with a corporate social responsibility (CSR). Mission of SUY is to approach the rural community and allow them to go beyond the regular scope. SUY helps villagers to know about various schemes tailored for them specifically by Govt. of India to help electrify the rural areas. SUY calls out all the willing corporate social houses with environmental commitments to structure a corporate outreach programs to provide cheap, healthy and sustainable power and lighting solutions in the villages.
On the other hand PM Modi promised to electrify 18,000 villages in 100 days out of which over 5000 villages have been electrified within 200 days. Recently 15 more villages were electrified; Chattagarh forest beat, Arilo, Naranpada, Sinakhunti, Birkul Dangar, Dakadungri, Jaiguda, Bandaka, Kalupasingh, Badabhuin, Jhamupakal, Mundabadi jungle, Chadeipahadi, Lakraghara and Bhadrakshi.
Other NGOs like Light A Home, Su-Kam, The Rockfeller Foundation and OMC Power, etc are working their parts to electrify rural communities in India. Initiatives from various companies have been taken in various forms such as Atomberg Fan, India’s most efficient fan that saves up to 65% on electricity bills which means if each and every ceiling fan in India is replaced by Atomberg then the 225 rural part of India can be provided with electricity. Know more about Atomberg.