Little steps go a long way

Even though the Indian Government has announced that every child has a right to education, school children in rural India face various obstacles. Lack of proper infrastructure including shortage of basic facilities like electricity ultimately lead to student attrition in rural India. Lack of reliable electrical power forces students to resort to kerosene lamps and candles as they require adequate lighting to study at night. Dim light, heat and the harmful smoke of the kerosene lamps adversely affect their productivity. There is also an increased risk of fire accidents and other health risks like burns, injuries and poisonings from fuel ingestion when children handle these kerosene lamps. These problems coupled with the apathy of parents towards the education are contributory factors to their difficulties which ultimately result in children dropping out from school.

At Menda foundation we try to identify and address issues which constrain the opportunities for their development. We believe that children are our future and we ensure that they have all the tools needed to make their future bright and promising. One such initiative is the “Light for Education” wherein we provide free solar powered LED lamps to students of class 8 – 10 in rural Karnataka to encourage them to come to school by incentivising attendance and providing affordable, cleaner and safer source of light, thus empowering students to learn.

Study Lamps

This innovative model makes use of three components, including a centralized solar charging system, a pocket-sized portable battery and an LED study lamp. The solar charging system is located at the school, where the students can charge the batteries, which in turn power the LED study lamps at the students’ homes. A completely charged battery can provide 4 hours of bright light per day for 2 days, thus empowering students to take charge of their education.

Benefits of the program

  • Provides safe, bright and affordable source of light unlike the extensively used kerosene lamps which emit heat and harmful smoke.
  • Helps the families save money spent on kerosene.
  • Facilitates improved attendance and academic performance in schools and helps fight child labour.
  • One lamp can be utilized by 3 to 4 children to study at home.
  • Shared centralized solar charging system makes the project cost effective by reducing the expense of providing individual solar panels for all students.
  • The lights will be returned to the school after a student completes his/her education so more students are benefited.
  • Technically the performance of the central system is much better than individual solar panels in portable lantern models especially during rainy season.
  • The lamp reduces the health issues caused by smoke and flame of kerosene lamps.