Green Prakriya: Banganga: a village revived through solar power

Posted on 24. Jan, 2012 in: Uncategorized

Banganga is a village in Viratnagar block, Rajasthan. The village has witnessed immense underground water harvesting and massive deforestation. Hundreds of acres of land remains barren, leading to reduced rainfall in the region.

The people in Banganga village are dependent on agriculture. Electricity is not available in the village although the grid connection reached long ago. Most of the activities after sunset are carried out under kerosene lights. Unhealthy fumes of kerosene lights adversely affect the villagers’ health, and low luminosity weakens their eyesight.

Lanterns bring socio-economic benefits

However, the ‘Lighting a Billion Lives’ campaign has started changing the situation, in Banganga by providing the villagers clean and high-intensity lighting. The need and demand for lighting can be perceived from the fact that almost all the lanterns are being rented out every day.The lanterns have helped in elevating the standard of living of 100 households

in Banganga village by increasing the energy supply for lighting The lanterns are mainly being used for domestic purposes. Due to proper lighting facilities, students are able to study in the tutorials, as well as at home, during night hours.The lantern is also contributing towards reducing women’s drudgery, as they have the opportunity to do more productive work after sunset under improved lighting conditions. The use of lanterns has also reduced indoor air pollution, thereby reducing the ill effects on the community’s health, especially of children and women.

New income generation avenues open up

Improved lighting facilities have led to enhanced production and more in income-generation activities—basket making, broom making, vegetable sorting, and rural vegetable market. Consequently, there is more income for the households. The lanterns are also being used by the shopkeepers and vegetable sellers in the nearby vegetable market, which remains open till late evening.

The implementation partner, Humana People to People India runs several SHGs (self-help groups) in the village. SHG members believe that through these lanterns, they can increase their income by devoting more time to commercially productive activities in the evening and thus can contribute more to the SHGs. In the long run, the SHGs have plans to open their own bank account for small-scale money lending within the community members.

Smt. Goti Devi, who runs the charging station, feels empowered to manage the station. She feels that by becoming the entrepreneur of the charging station, she and her family enjoy respect in the village. She is assisted by her son Omi in technical maintenance of the station and in following up with the users if they do not return lanterns on time.

More Info: Teri

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