For many villages in Odisha, an erratic supply of electricity is a part of daily life. But the state’s Pondikote village has successfully overcome this handicap, ushering in a solar technology revolution.
An IIT Mumbai initiative has lit up homes here with Solar Urja Lamps (SoUL). Made by the women and young students here, these solar-powered lamps were distributed throughout the village, replacing paraffin candles and kerosene lamps.
Students were given the lamps at a subsidised rate in a bid to counter the high rate of school dropouts owing to the lack of electricity to study at night. Fuelled by the SoUL project, 19-year-old Tilotama Jani decided to fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher and started a tuition centre for students, using the solar-powered lamps to study. As a resident of the village, she had to deal with insufficient lighting to study during her time in school, but she decided to help change things for her students (video below).
The SoUL initiative, according to their website, has already crossed their aim of distributing one million solar lamps in rural India, having distributed 10,60,847 SoULs till date.