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District:Mewat, Haryana Village:Jhamvu Vas

Jhamvu Vas is a small village in the district of Mewat in Haryana. Though situated less than 70 km from the national capital, New Delhi, like many other villages in the region, Jhamvu Vas is also suffering from erratic electricity supply and almost no power after dark. The non-availability of electricity has had several adverse effects on the lives of the people there. Being closely located to an industrial town and the National Capital, the youth of Jhamvu Vas is very interested in taking up knowledge-intensive alternative careers in the city, instead of joining the family business of cattle rearing or farming. But this has been a difficult objective to achieve due to poor electricity supply and students developing vision problems by studying in poor light. The dhabas (highway restaurants) around the villages also suffered losses. Even though they were strategically located on the highway, commuters remained reluctant to visit them as they looked shabby and dingy due to inadequate lighting after dark.

A solar charging station was installed under the LaBL programme at the village and within a few months people were able to see the benefits it presented. Students now had better and more reliable lighting to study in, gaining back their confidence, as the charging station was installed before the final school examinations of the year. The local dhabas also benefitted, which was reflected in their increased levels of income. They replaced kerosene and candle lanterns with solar lanterns and shared that not only did it give better light, but it also looks similar to electric light.

As an elderly woman shared how she now finds it easier to move around and have a socially active life. ‘Earlier, my family members would not allow me to go around the village after dark. They always feared that due to my short-sightedness, I might meet with an accident and hurt myself. But now with the bright illumination of the solar lantern, I can freely move around as never before and can meet friends and relatives every day!’, she says.

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