Street Vendors Had to Shut Shop After Dark Till an Architect Built a Solar Solution

aakarsh shamanur innovator of solar lights for street vendors

Aakarsh Shamanur, a Bengaluru-based social entrepreneur started Be Po-Lite, a crowdfunded venture to help women street vendors.

Women street vendors in India often reel under at least two pressures: one is to sell their produce at good rates and the other is to do so before it turns dark. The reason behind the latter is as dusk sets in, many buyers often have concerns about buying fruits and vegetables.

When Aakarsh Shamanur, a Bengaluru-based social entrepreneur noticed this, he decided to implement a sustainable change.

Thus began his quest to find a solution that would help these women street vendors.

In 2017, this architect who has a Masters degree in Urban Management and Development went on to start his venture ‘Be Po-Lite’, which focused on the production of solar-powered lamps.

Aakarsh Shamanur
Aakarsh Shamanur

This was his way of reaching out to these vendors and helping them power through the evening. Along with being a ray of light and enabling them to work even after dark, the 3W portable lamps also lit up the women’s homes and helped their children study in the dark. Along with this, the lamp can also be used to charge phones, thus making it a multi-purpose device.

Speaking to the New Indian Express, Aakarsh claimed that a vendor can save Rs 1,200 a month by switching to this technology. “The light works for up to 10 hours, with a five-six hour charging time. It’s been tailor-made to suit the needs of vendors,” he said.

Aakarsh’a dream is simple. He wishes to expand this idea from Bengaluru, Hubballi, and Hiriyur where he has already started it, and reach women street vendors across India.

Watch how he did this:

This Diwali, Be Po-Lite, Published on 29 October 2018.

Edited by Yoshita Rao

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