Basavalingaiah Shetty and Basamma, the septuagenarian couple of Banduru in Arsikere taluk, lost both their sons for health-related reasons in recent years. All these years they earned their livelihood by making pots and the turn of events have forced them to continue with the hardwork event at this age.
“We were making the pots by rotating the pottery wheel manually. But, now the age is not on our side. Thankfully, the solar-powered wheel has come to our rescue”, said Basamma. With the help of Selco Solar Light Private Limited and Banduru Gram Panchayat, the aged couple has got the solar-powered pottery wheel, which works with the help of a DC motor of 24-volt capacity
While the private company spent about ₹45,000 from the corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds, the gram panchayat gave its share of ₹20,000. Every month the couple earns roughly about ₹8,000 by selling the pots in different shapes..
As part of a two-day workshop for journalists held in Hassan on Monday and Tuesday, Selco Solar had taken a team of journalists to rural areas where the company offered services for the needy.
Prasad B., Area Manager of the company, said “With the help of local donors and panchayat bodies, the lives of many people have been changed thanks to solar power.”
Asha, a resident of Halebid, has set up a multi-purpose shop in the tourist centre. She does photocopying of documents, and offers tea and snacks, besides that she irons clothes in her shop. Interestingly, her photocopying machine runs on solar power. A couple of years ago she lost her husband and she had the responsibility for her two children. With the help of the company, she got a photocopying machine, 60 Watt solar panel, and a 40 AH battery, the shop was made of bison board and Canara Bank offered her a loan as well to set up the shop. Asha told journalists that her daily earnings have gone up after she put her solar-powered photocopying machine. And, she has been regular in paying instalments to the bank.
The company, utilising the CSR funds, has installed a rooftop solar system of 6 kW capacity, at the primary health centre at Hagare in Belur taluk. For the last two years, the system has been running without any problem and the staff members are happy. “Earlier, we had difficulties in treating patients at night, when there was no power. Now, with the solar system, we have been rendering good service”, said C.N. Chetan Kumar, administrative medical officer of the centre. The system incurred an expense of ₹4.8 lakh, which included batteries, inverter, besides the panel.
The company has also set up smart classes in over 300 schools in the district with the help of school development and monitoring committees and donors. Hassan Deputy Commissioner R.Girish, Zilla Panchayat CEO Kantharaju, District Health Officer K.M.Sathish Kumar and officers of Selco Solar Lights Pvt. Ltd. participated in the workshop.