With 350 million children within the age bracket of 10 to 24, India has one of the youngest populations in the world. Erratic electricity supply affects their education, limiting their hours of study. While the government is aggressively working to enable electricity in every Indian household, a clean alternative source of lighting, independent of electricity supply, is a viable alternative.
In this context, we at EESL are scaling up the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)’s Solar Study Lamp Scheme , distributing solar lamps to school-going children in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Odisha. The household grid connectivity in these states is less than 50% (2011 Census), and they have a sizeable population of households dependent on kerosene as their primary source of lighting.
The solar study lamp distributed by EESL consists of a photovoltaic module which converts sunlight into electricity, charging the battery which powers the LED luminaire. The lamp is designed to provide 4-5 hours of daily light every day.
While IIT Bombay is the central agency for R&D, overall execution, coordination, strategizing, and implementation, EESL is responsible for procurement and distribution of lamp kits, spare parts, etc.
IIT Bombay will also work towards instituting over 2000 service centres involving local trained youth to ensure comprehensive maintenance of the lamps for a period of 5 years. Women Cluster Level Federations, formed under State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) and/or NGOs working in the intervention states, will also be roped in for conducting activities in these states.
The key objectives of the scheme include supporting education, livelihood generation, curbing kerosene dependency, generating awareness and confidence in solar technology, and reaching out to the most marginalised communities.