Solar LED light instead of kerosene lanterns

What if this was your experience living in rural India: “Until just three months ago, life in this humble village without electricity would come to a grinding halt after sunset. Inside his mud-and-clay home, Ganpat Jadhav’s three children used to study in the dim, smoky glow of a kerosene lamp. And when their monthly fuel quota of four liters dried up in just a fortnight, they had to strain their eyes using the light from a cooking fire.

I read the blog TreeHugger daily and they had this post today about low cost, highly efficient, solar powered LED lighting in rural India and how it’s changing life there. The original article was in the Christian Science Monitor and is one I heartily recommend you spend 3-5 minutes reading…especially if you’re a Westerner that is relatively clueless (like me) about the state most of the Third World’s population lives in.

This program for lighting in India hit a hot button for me and I found this article to be very compelling. Why? A former colleague had been in community outreach and she had traveled extensively in Africa…and regaled me with stories about the poor and inadequate living conditions she came upon. This woman was working with the African nations to combat the horrific HIV/AIDS epidemic and one need she and the team had was low cost power to drive the field HIV testing devices that were about the size of an inkjet printer.

I consequently scoured the internet for human or solar powered devices, learned about the frighteningly small energy output from most alternative energy sources and the cost of battery storage of that power. Hearing tales from my colleague about how even simple lighting at night could transform a village — let alone power for the AIDS testing box — I was enamored with finding a way to harness knowledge around the world about alternative energy — and how new technologies like LED’s were one that could be utilized — but wasn’t able to devote the personal energy to do much myself.

As many as 1.5 billion people – nearly 80 million in India alone – light their houses using kerosene as the primary lighting media. The fuel is dangerous, dirty, and – despite being subsidized – consumes nearly 4 percent of a typical rural Indian household’s budget. A recent report by the Intermediate Technology Development Group suggests that indoor air pollution from such lighting media results in 1.6 million deaths worldwide every year.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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