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Ahead of Diwali, TERI’s Solar Lanterns Light up Lives of Under-Privileged Children of Gyan Shakti Vidyalaya in NOIDA

October 24, 2011 - Noida, Uttar Pradesh And New Delhi, Delhi, India

Taking forward TERI’s ambitious global initiative “Lighting a Billion Lives”, DR R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI today distributed 30 more solar-powered LED lanterns to the under-privileged children of Gyan Shakti Vidyalaya, residents of the Yamuna Khader area, a slum cluster, not far from the bright lights of the national capital. This is in addition to the 75 lanterns distributed early this year in March. The lanterns were distributed in personal capacity by Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI and comes ahead of the auspicious festival of lights – Diwali, when the city will be illuminated with traditional diyas and modern lights.

The 75 Solar Lamps disseminated earlier has changed the entire outlook of the families using these lanterns. More than 80 percent of these lanterns are being used by children who have now developed a new inclination towards studies, and developed a habit to read other books to gain knowledge apart from their text books. All 75 children in the school have shown progress and study for about three hours every day now after school, after they are done helping with odd jobs and chores inside and outside the house compared to the meagre one hour or less that they managed to concentrate on their books before.

In addition, the families are saving money from reduced consumption of kerosene for lighting which is now being used by these families to further the education of their children. Seeing these benefits, more families expressed their desire to own solar lanterns which was distributed today.

In his address Dr. R K Pachauri, Director General TERI said, “TERI has always attempted to create conscious reactivity for positive change. I am glad that we will yet again; through our Lighting a Billion Lives program, provide a better learning atmosphere for children with superior lighting that will prove to be a major step in the right direction to improve the human index in the area of Yamuna Khader.”

Lack of electricity infrastructure is one of the main bottlenecks in the development of rural India. At a very basic level, people do not have a cheap and safe source of lighting. This limits people to tasks that they can complete in daylight; children find it difficult to study at night and people depend on expensive, environmentally harmful and unhealthy fuels like wood and kerosene to light their homes.

The Energy and Resources Institute realises this and is promoting renewable solar power for areas beyond the reach of conventional electric grids. Environmentally friendly solar lighting systems can improve the quality of life in rural areas dramatically. Solar photo voltaic systems can power lanterns, street lights, and lights for homes and workplaces. This means that people no longer have to use kerosene lanterns and lamps.

With the solar lanterns, the school's environment has become much more encouraging to students and that's reflected in their interest levels and the rapid rise in their marks' Said, Rear Admiral (Retd) HC Malhotra, Founder Member and Mentor of Gyan Shakti Vidyalaya. As a mentor he always advises students to take as much benefit of the solar lamps for their education as possible. Admiral Malhotra further added, “TERI has been such a great, inspiring and valuable support in providing environment friendly individual solar lamps at highly subsidized costs to enable the children to put in additional hours for private study in the jhhugies after sunset. This welfare contribution by TERI will considerably enhance the spirit of each recipient family in the communities to dream for their better days ahead.”

Earlier this year, TERI had launched a mascot ‘Laltini’ for Lighting a Billion Lives project. Laltini dressed in Green – signifies abundance, growth and prosperity, besides clean and safe energy.

‘Laltini’ – the mascot is a little girl child creatively designed to look like a Solar Lantern who is holding an illuminating lamp, thus embodying the concept of lighting lives with a handful of sunshine. ‘Laltini’ signifies how something as simple as sunlight can lighten up our lives not only during the day but also at night. The girl child is designed to look like a lantern as it signifies the basic concept of a woman enlightening the family when she is educated and empowered.

LaBL project is a commitment by TERI to bring light into the lives of the masses deprived of the basic facility of proper lighting at home due to lack of electrification. Since its launch in 2008, LaBL has illuminated around 44,170 households spread over 859 villages across 16 Indian states. Research shows that even a few hours of 20 to 40-watt solar-powered lighting in homes and small shops has resulted in better grades for schoolchildren, better productivity for needlework artisan groups and other cottage industries, and even better sales at fruit stands, where produce is no longer spoiled by fumes from kerosene lamps.

About TERI: The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) was established in 1974. A dynamic and flexible organization, activities in TERI ranges from microbiology to global climate change, from smoke-filled rural kitchens to plush corporate boardrooms, from schoolchildren to heads of state—no sphere of human endeavor is unfamiliar to TERI. The organization works on formulating local and national level strategies to suggesting global solutions to critical energy and environment-related issues.

Source: Business Wire India


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