As evening approaches most villages disappear from my view. With the exception of a fire here and there, nothing disrupts the pure darkness an hour or so after the sun sets. We usually end our work a little bit beforehand so as to make easier our drive back to town.
With this and more in mind, Humana People to People in cooperation with TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) has initiated a bold program. According to their annual report:
India has an urgent need for development and promotion of renewable energy solutions to it’s growing demand for electric power, and a need of providing energy services to large numbers of households, which are deprived of adequate electricity supply. Thus, Humana People to People India has joined hands with TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), in 2008 in the implementation of TERI’s “Lighting a Billion Lives” (LaBL) campaign, with installation of 18 community based solar charging stations in two districts in Rajasthan.
My experience on this day gives me a taste of this specific project. Women and men come by to pick up their solar lanterns which have been changed since last evening's use. They allow themselves to be photographed during this process with much pride. In the past they would be limited by the setting sun, but now find their day extended with the aid of the lanterns.
In these very villages are the schools we are attempting to support. Humana People to People India does more than open schools, they engage the entire community through various programs. Their association with 'Lighting a Billion Lives' campaign is just one example.
Halim Ina Photography