Solar Energy had assumed importance with lot of impetus for green technologies, in India and all over the world. The rising cost of conventional energy, threat to fossil fuels, increasing pollution and global warming are few of the leading factors has led to this significant change. A developing nation like India also faces another important issue- of not being able to provide conventional electricity to remote villages. Nearly 18,500 villages in India still have no access to electricity. In many of these areas Solar Energy offers solace to the poor villagers- by providing with electricity through solar means.
Here we cite the example of two ladies who have transformed the lives of many villagers by providing them access to solar energy and have become shining examples of hope and light (literally)!
Noor Jehan- showing ‘the Solar way’ to villagers in Uttar Pradesh
Noor Jehan is a 55 year old woman, from a nondescript village Beri Dariyawan which is some 25 kms from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, who has been illuminating lives of villagers by providing solar lamps on rent. She has up a factory of solar lamps and has formed a group of women who are engaged in the task of making and renting solar lanterns. These lamps are rented at a moderate cost of about Rs 3.3 a day or Rs 100 per month, while the charging costs are about Rs 3-4 daily, thus helping about 50 families in the village where government infrastructure is virtually non-existent and electricity has still not reached Her work is a shining example for others to follow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also lauded the efforts of Noor Jehan in his recent radio address in the programme ‘Mann ki Baat.’
Ajaita Shah –championing the ‘Solar’ cause in Rajasthan
Ajaita Shah is a shining example of change. She has helped cut the use of kerosene lamps in rural India by selling thousands of solar lanterns, street lights, and home lighting kits. Shah was barely out of college when she began working in Indian villages. Her campaign started in the year 2008 when she saw a 5-year old die in five seconds due to flames which enveloped her due to a kerosene fire at home. This changed her perspective toward life and eventually led to the launch of her own company, Frontier Markets in 2011, to bring safe and affordable clean energy to the northwestern region of Rajasthan, where she spends most of her time. Her aim is to provide solar-powered lighting solutions to some of the state’s poorest citizens.
Though she was born and grew up in upscale Scarsdale, New York, she was determined to improve the rural Indian life. After graduating in International Relations from Tufts University, she chose to get into microfinance instead of corporate law. Armed with her experience with her earlier projects for the Ford Foundation and the World Bank, and her work in microfinance with organizations like SKS Microfinance, and Ujjivan Financial Services in India, she set up Frontier Markets which works primarily with clean energy products like solar lighting.
StoreHippo wishes them success in their venture and wish for many more Noor Jehans’ and Ajaita Shahs’ to power up a Solar India with a focus on a cleaner environment.