‘Charging station set up in each village will charge 50 lanterns during the day'

The Institute of Rural Research and Development (IRRAD), an initiative of S M Sehgal Foundation, in collaboration with the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has undertaken a ‘Lighting a Billion Lives' project in Mewat in Haryana.

As part of the project a solar charging station was launched on Wednesday in the village Goela, Mewat. A ‘Solar Diwali' celebration was undertaken, where Balraj Singh Mor, the Deputy Commissioner of Mewat dedicated the solar charging station to the Village Level Institution in Goela and motivated the community members to come forward and make the project a great success.

According to IRRAD officials, power cuts in Mewat villages span for 10-16 hours a day and often leave households in darkness at night. “IRRAD took up this solar lighting initiative on a pilot basis in four villages: Goela (Taoru block), Kotla (Nagina block), Raniyali and Naharika (Firozepur Jhirkha block) with 50 households per village enrolling on a first come first serve basis. A solar charging station set up in each village will charge 50 lanterns during the day. Each fully charged lantern provides light for 4-6 hours illuminating the households,” said an IRRAD official.

TERI initiated Lighting a Billion Lives project in 2008 to enable villagers have access to light from solar technologies. “Based on a fee-for-service model, solar lanterns are rented out every day in exchange for a nominal recharging fee. The solar charging stations set up by IRRAD in each village promote entrepreneurship at the local level. This has been done by affecting the handover of the facility to a local entrepreneur who will earn from rental collection of recharging lanterns and plough back Rs.1500 per month in maintenance and smooth functioning of the facility,” the official said.

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