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

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Small changes, big impacts
Small changes, big impacts
“When lights turn on, the entire village including the kids become so happy, saying “Light aa gayi!” (the lights are on!)”, says Prem Kumar Rastogi, a farmer from the village of Dalpatpur. “Everyone gets busy with their work thanks to the good, bright light. We’re saving our environment with these lights, and there’s no pollution in our homes either”. The ability to regularly charge phones also allows villagers to be connected, share information and ideas, watch films and listen to music too.
According to Pandey, new businesses are starting to emerge amongst the customers too. “In one village, customers are using the light to make saris by night, in another entrepreneurs have started crude manufacturing of eye glasses, and one man now has a night business making plastic table cloths”, he says.
Here, Santosh Kumar, a farmer from the village of Baldipurawa, sat with his niece on their newly-lit porch. “It’s nice to have light while we cook and eat”, he told us. “Now we can actually see our food, and if there are insects or other things falling in it”.

 

 

Late night shopping
Late night shopping
Sushil Kumar and Sushila Devi, also from the village of Bidthauli, are now able to keep their shop open late into the evening. “These days, I can see my customers as they come and go”, said Sushil Kumar. “The children are studying more now, and we can charge our mobile phones in less time as we don’t have to visit the town to do so”.

 

Night time cooking
Night time cooking
Kushuma, from the village of Sewanpurawa uses her lights to cook into the evening. “We’ve had the lights for a month now, and get all kinds of benefits”, Kushuma told us, shyly. “We can cook beneath the light and see our food as we eat. I feel safer as well”.

 

Looking into the light
Looking into the light
Kushuma’s son, his eye swollen with an infection, looked up towards their newly installed lights as she cooked beside him.