Kids Current Events
Solar Energy in Rural India

Kids Current Events People living in slums and other places where electricity is not available have to do everything before the sun goes down. Without lights it is impossible to work on projects in the evening. A Small Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund (S3IDF) is helping people in these areas.

The nonprofit organization is equipping small communities with Integrated Energy Centre carts (IECs). These carts are equipped with reliable solar powered lamps and mobile charging stations. They rent out the lamps to people living in slums and then allow the lamps to be recharged each day for a small monthly fee.

Solar Energy Carts, Photo by SELCO, Solar Pvt. Ltd.

Solar Energy Carts, Photo by SELCO, Solar Pvt. Ltd.

A small community of residents living in the Thanisandra slum in Bangalore, India. The nomadic community has been moving across the country for generations. The cart that the community is in the process of purchasing will move with them as they travel across the country making their lives much better and safer.

The cart that the community uses was designed specifically for them. Each cart that is built by the S3IDF people is built for the special needs of that community. The cart provided for the nomadic community in Bangalore, India provides lamps and charging facilities for approximately 30 of the 80 households in the community.

The men of the community create beautiful hand carved drums that they sell. The lamps in the evening allow the men to work in the evening after dark increasing their production of drums and producing more money for the family. The wives are able to cook in the evening after dark and work on quilts and other projects they do to increase the family income.

Prior to being part of the community that uses the cart the families spent a large portion of their money on black market kerosene that causes health problems for the whole family. The family only pays $2.50 a month for up to eight hours of solar light each evening. The solar light also protects the children from pests that creep into poorly lit areas in their tent.

The nonprofit S3IDF supply a variety useful products for the communities using the carts. The products include solar lanterns, small appliances and tools. Some of the communities are using the carts to provide education services such as audio-visual aid to books, computers, DVD players and other basic education needs.

The foundation’s goal is for the people who benefit from the IECs to run them without the foundation’s help. The carts are designed to be operationally sustainable with revenue generated by the IECs covering all maintenance and operating costs. At the present time there are 18 carts available for communities in India.


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