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Solar Lanterns Change LivesDistrict:Dhursal, Madhya Pradesh Partner Oragnisation:Towards Action and Learning (TAAL)
Dhursal is a tribal village situated in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh. According to the Census of India-2001, there are 486 households in Dhursal with a population of 2570. The village remains partially electrified, receiving 6-7 hours of intermittent power supply throughout the day. The people of Dhursal are mostly involved in agriculture and animal husbandry. LaBL partnered with TAAL to bring clean lighting solutions to the people of Dhursal. TAAL understands and promotes the need for non-conventional energy sources and has been working in the state for many years with interventions on water and livelihood generation issues.
Since Dhursal is a comparatively large village with a population of 2500 people, two charging stations were installed. Young students have particularly benefited from the solar lanterns. During exams, the demand for the lanterns is so high, that TAAL has to intervene and arrange for lanterns from the second solar charging station to supplement the students. ‘The lanterns have improved our efficiency’ says a village school teacher. The women of Dhursal are also happy with the new light in their lives, being able to utilize their evenings more optimally. “Working under the light of kerosene lamp is time consuming as I have to struggle with every small thing in the dark. Now I feel I am able to finish my work quickly under the bright solar lantern light and get more time for myself after house work in the evenings” says Sanwari Devi, a resident of the village.
The Panchayat Secretary of the village gleefully states that he no longer worries about the power cuts as the lanterns are there to help him finish his writing work in the evening. For many grocery shop owners and small vendors, who otherwise would have to close their shops after dark, the lantern has made it possible to run business till late in the evening, allowing them to earn better income.
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