Green Prakriya: Light of the future shines in Mahtabera

Posted on 24. Jan, 2012 in: Uncategorized

Mahtabera is a small village in rural Jharkhand. The state is mostly inhabited by tribal people who earn their livelihood through farming and cattle rearing. Other sources of livelihood include agarbatti making, leaf plate and bowl making, collecting and sorting wild medicinal herbs and other domestic activities.

Electricity has not reached the village as yet. Due to lack of proper lighting, the socio-economic condition of the area is very poor. Ladies of the village are trained in making handicrafts, agarbattis, leaf plate and bowl making, ready-made snack making and other such activities. However by the time they complete their daily chores, evening approaches and they are left with no option but to operate at dusk in dim light. This has a serious impact on their productivity.

A new dawn

The LaBL (Light a Billion Lives) was implemented in the village in July 2008. The campaign is anchored by SEEDS (Socio Economic & Education Development Society), a grass roots organization with long experience in the field of rural management, regional planning and development, rural and community services, human resource management, and other related aresa. It has been working with the community for long.

The situation in the village has improved after the introduction of solar lanterns. A young housewife Sawri Tudu of Mahtabera village is exhilarated with the new light in her life. Everyday, she has to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning to cook for her husband who leaves at 5 o’clock in the morning to work at the industrial unit in neighbouring Gamharia town.Earlier she could barely see what she was grinding on the pestle stone. The single kerosene light in their house was used by her husband to get ready for work while she had to grope in the dark. She remarks, ‘It is not safe to cook in the dark as you cannot see what you are actually adding in the food.’ Now with the solar lantern, she can finish her work faster and her husband can leave on time.

The light of entrepreneurship

Beje Murmu along with other women of the All Tribal Baha Self Help Group has started doing brisk business now. They are trained in making puffed cereals, pulses, groundnuts, which are much sought-after readymade food snacks in the tribal villages. Now, with the solar lantern they utilize their evenings optimally. They have started taking big orders of puffed rice for village weddings and for regular sale in villages and in nearby town of Kandra and Gamharia. Darkness is no longer a hindrance in their soaring business.

Young tribal boy, Ganesh Tudu is a born artist. He studies in High School and in his spare time and in the night; he makes paintings on paper, makes idols, and decorative items out of thermocol. All this has become possible after the solar lighting system was introduced in his village. He has started taking local orders for creating art pieces. These art pieces are in high demand among the tourists who come to visit the neighbouring places. Ganesh is happy that now he can study in college with the money he earns. The solar lamp has become his saviour in shaping his future.

Source: Teri

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