Daylight to Darkness: The Unlit Truth of Rural Development in India
A single 2-day trip to a village in India was enough to help me realise the truth of rural development in India. I’ve often wondered when the day would come when India will receive the status of a “developed nation”. After all, we have all the modern facilities and live in air-conditioned homes. We have premium medical facilities, bullet trains, expressways, fast-growing economies, world-leading fortune 500 companies, and so on. However, step into a village, and you’ll find the sequestered truth about India and the conditions under which most of the country, 69%, lives. I went through a typical day in the life of a villager. Seeing this vast difference between our lives was an eye-opening experience.
Life in the day
A typical day starts even before the sun’s rays hit the ground. In the faint light, you’ll find men, women as well as children walking great distances, sometimes as far as 2km, to the nearest water source to fill empty buckets, bottles, and large cans with water for use by the family for washing, cleaning, cooking and even drinking.
- The lucky few with wells on their premises spend the better part of their morning manually tugging on the ropes to lift the water from the well one bucket at a time.
- Since most villagers are farmers, their dependency on the water is very high, especially for the irrigation of their crops. Men and women spend most of their day tending to their farmlands. During dry seasons, with wells and nearby water bodies barren, there is little they can do but watch their crops dry up and wither before their eyes.
- While parents tend to business, the children who are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get an education find themselves in sub-standard schools that have an erratic power supply, if any at all. Staying focused during lectures is hard enough, but doing so in the sweltering heat and bad lighting is practically unimaginable.
These are just some problems in a typical day of life in a village. However, the solution is simple – Solar power. Here’s a list of solutions Nimbus Solar has successfully implemented in various villages to address rural development in India.
The Solar Solutions
- Solar-powered rural water transportation – These systems use solar pumps to transport water from different sources over a distance or height. These systems address rural developments in India by solving water shortage issues in hilly areas at altitudes as high as 200m and distances as much as 2 Km from the water source. Click here to know more: http://bit.ly/2I8M6HK
- Solar-powered irrigation solutions – Starvation still haunts our nation. In India, the people who do not have enough food to feed their families are the same people who supply food to the rest of the nation – our farmers. To protect this section of our society, we have designed and executed several projects to help increase their income and bring about ease in farming practices. The key to raising their incomes and boosting production to meet the growing demands lies in proper irrigation practices, enhanced organisation, community farming, and efficient land utilisation. Our endeavours could inspire many other efforts to improve rural development in India. We are attempting to revolutionise farming practices by introducing solar power to as many farmers as possible. Solar pumps help power drip irrigation systems, mobilise natural water sources for farmlands irrigation, power lift irrigation systems, etc. Click here to know more: http://bit.ly/2I6zFMj
- Solar power for schools and colleges – These solutions aim at providing schools with a reliable source of energy during school hours. Schools benefit from solar power as they require electricity only during the day and do not need to invest in batteries. Click here to know more: http://bit.ly/2I5iI55
Life at night
- The gravity of this grim situation indeed strikes once the sun sets. With no access to grid electricity in most homes, darkness ensues post 7 pm. These homes rely heavily on kerosene lanterns to brighten up an otherwise bleak world. It is then that you truly realise how we city dwellers have taken electricity for granted. The darkness in villages is absolute. It is something you will never be able to experience in a city.
- The kerosene lamps they use in their homes exude harmful fumes, which can cause severe damage to human lungs when inhaled over long periods. Adults and children alike are exposed to these fumes all their lives.
- In the rare instance where a child in these villages attends school, they cannot study in the evenings due to the shortage of light.
- Most of these houses do not have toilets. So nature calls at night would require one to walk into the wilderness in the dark with a lantern in hand, which is no short of a scene from a horror film.
- The absence of fans only adds to discomfort in these rustic homes.
- The stillness, the lack of air movement, the lack of light, and the sweltering heat are visions of life in a village on a typical night.
The Solar Solutions
- Even if a government body focuses on these remote villages, extending electric grid lines to such great distances can be challenging and expensive. What’s the next best option? Solar energy. Rural development in India could significantly benefit from the use of solar energy.
- In one of the CSR projects by Nimbus, more than 1000 homes in a village were lit up by installing the NIMBUS SOLAR HOME LIGHTING KIT. This kit includes a solar panel, 3 LED bulbs, 1 LED tube light, and a DC fan. These kits have contributed their share to rural development in India. This simple yet effective project allowed thousands of village dwellers to finally enjoy the simple luxuries of life by protecting these families from harmful kerosene fumes, saving on kerosene costs, and providing better light for the children to study after sunset. Click here to know more: http://bit.ly/2I5ZyMg
- Nimbus implemented a project with an NGO to install solar-powered drinking water booths to deal with sanitation and water issue. The project provided clean drinking water to all these households. The run-off water from the filtration units was then fed into toilets built in these households. It not only safeguarded their hygiene and sanitation but also helped restore the dignity and peace that is rightfully theirs. This project is a perfect example of how a simple solution can improve rural development in India. Click here to know more: http://bit.ly/2I9KRIg
The problems in rural development in India are grave, but the solutions are simple and easily achievable. Although the Indian government’s efforts towards putting in place infrastructure for electrification deserve mention, they are insufficient. We at Nimbus are committed to making the villages more habitable and providing the villagers with the basic amenities that will help them live a life of dignity, respect and comfort. However, we cannot do this alone and need your help. So let’s join hands and put together our resources and guide India towards better rural development in India, one village at a time.