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TBI Photo Essay: Mera Gao Power – Providing A Brighter Future, Two Solar Panels At A Time

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Fitting the panels
Fitting the panels
The roof of a sturdy, brick walled home in each village is always chosen as the site for the panels and the battery. Azaz, one of the company’s first electricians to be recruited from the local district block of Reusa, installs the panels in a southerly direction to capture as much sunlight as possible. A pairing of two panels is usually enough to serve up to 50 households (the average size of a village in this area), but the typical uptake in any one place is closer to 25 – about half of the village.

 

Laying Wires
Laying Wires
Many hands make light work as the wires are laid from house to house, connecting each home to the battery one by one. More often than not, the community loves to chip in and work together to make this happen.

 

Happy customers
Happy customers
When a system is installed, each light can be seen as a small square LED, placed wherever the customers want it in their house. Saroj Kumari (left) and Kavita (right) stand next to one of their new lights, which has been placed on the outside wall to illuminate their front porch.

 

Waiting for nightfall
Waiting for nightfall
Once the systems are in place, all that remains is to wait for nightfall. The lights are designed to switch on at a time the villagers choose, which is normally just as night approaches. Here, in the village of Sewanpurawa, the time of 6.30pm had been chosen, and a crowd gathered in the settling dusk. A small boy showed me his watch. It was out by half an hour but glinted in the fading light as he held it on his spindly wrist proudly. All of a sudden, the village became alight with bright glimmers, in kitchens, bedrooms and porches, in front of small shops and beneath awnings. As if by magic.