Lighting up the schools in rural villages in India

For 12 year old, Savitri from Khandwa district in Madhya Pradesh, India, school was only till dusk and she had to manage with a kerosene lamp, which used to cast shadow on the books and gave limited amount of light. Throughout rural parts of India, many children work in the fields during the day and attend school only at night. Due to electricity outages there is often not enough power to light the classrooms after dark.

About 2 years ago, Applied Materials, in collaboration with New Energy Foundation (NEF), donated 500 solar lanterns to address this problem – lighting the way for the future education of 15,000 school children. Today, Savitri is delighted to attend school, as she knows there is a solar lantern that can light up the classroom and she can study well.

Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki, Chairman, New Energy Foundation, applauded Applied’s efforts in decreasing dependence on conventional fossil fuel based energy and supporting education along with clean, affordable energy practices. He said,” the donation made a huge difference to NEF as it encouraged other organizations to make similar contributions and we are now working to provide about 1,000 solar lanterns by March 2010.”

Most Indian states have abundant sunlight through the year, which makes a solar PV lantern a very attractive option. The pilot project has exhibited significant impact on the quality of education due to the use of solar PV lanterns in evening schools. With support from corporations and individuals, solar lanterns will replace dim kerosene lamp lights in the schools. The solar lantern emanates light for a brighter classroom and a better life for Savitri and many more kids like her.

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