Even the faces of the tribal people of Mallapur light up whenever they display their solar home lighting. The lights were acquired thanks to a novel initiative by the NGO, Dhan Foundation, the National Bank for Rural and Agriculture Development, the Indo-German watershed development project and the Deccan Grameen Bank.

Villagers are proud on their village having becoming the first in Telangana to have solar home lighting and revel in the fact that they did not have to pay any money to acquire the same.

This village in Indervelli mandal with 82 houses has already established itself as a model village by managing local watershed to maximum advantage, implementing prohibition and banning tobacco etc. It is the resolve of the tribal villagers, mostly Gonds, to bring in development that has apparently enthused funding agencies to ground the solar home lighting scheme here.

“We are running a fan for the first time,” declares a rather shy Durva Mahadubai pointing towards the table fan and the battery. “The lighting is also helpful especially when there is no power,” she adds.

The solar lighting is of special significance in tribal habitations in remote areas which experience a lot of power cuts more so during the summer months. The solar tube lights provided under the scheme shine bright in the nights negating the impact of power cuts in Mallapur now.

The unit cost of the home lighting, supplied by Sun Fusion Energy Systems, the authorised channel partner of Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd, is Rs. 16,750 which works out to nearly Rs. 14 lakh for solar home lighting for the entire village. Forty per cent of the cost is given as subsidy by NABARD while 30 per cent is given by the Indo-German watershed project and the remaining 30 per cent has been given as loan by the DGB, payable in 5 yearly instalments.

In an earlier initiative in Adilabad district, the Northern Power Distribution Company Limited electrified 20 households each in three tribal hamlets last year through centralised power generation units. The Chief General Manager, NABARD, Jiji Mammen, Chairman DGB, B.R.G. Upadhyaya and Deputy General Manager NABARD, Ranganatha Rao inaugurated the Mallapur project on Saturday.

More In: Telangana | National