Facilitating Access to Clean Lighting for Schools in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha

Background

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Power Grid), a Navratna Public Sector enterprise operating in the power sector, is India’s largest electric power transmission utility.

Power Grid has been contributing to the progress of the country in terms of growth of electricity infrastructure and augmentation of grid-connected green power capacity. The institution is highly committed to social responsibility, and has its well documented Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, which is in compliance with the Companies Act, 2013 of the Government of India and with the guidelines of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

In December 2014, as part of its CSR policy, Power Grid, partnered with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi and agreed to support the Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) initiative. LaBL is a global commitment for facilitating clean energy access for basic and productive uses to the energy deprived. The initiative has footprints in 23 states of India, and is well recognized by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The website of the initiative is accessible through the URL: http://labl.teriin.org/.

Introduction

As per the 68th round of NSSO, 73.5%, 36.8%, and 32.3% households in rural areas of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha, respectively are dependent on kerosene as energy source for lighting. In un-electrified or poorly electrified households, children are directly exposed to health risks arising from the usage of kerosene wick lamps. As per the estimates from the UNICEF, children from un-electrified households spend fewer days at school as compared to those living in electrified households. To address this issue, Power Grid and TERI partnered to facilitate clean energy access to school going children in rural areas of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha. Activities conducted under this project facilitate the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan of the Government of India.

The project makes provision for the attainment of the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations:

Key Activities

Awareness Generation:

  • As part of the project, comic cum colour books were developed in vernacular languages and distributed in order to communicate the idea of clean energy access to school going kids.
  • Lighting a Billion Lives posters were put up in various schools of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha.
  • District level officials of the government and media were informed about the project activities.
  • Each school was provided with a branding broad that mentioned about the initiative and the contribution of Power Grid Corporation of India. Also, each school was registered as LaBL schools.

Promoting Access to Clean Energy Technology

  • Individual solar lanterns and solar panels were disseminated to school children and staff.
  • The lanterns distributed comply with quality specifications of the Government of India and Lighting a Billion Lives initiative.

Capacity Building

  • Technical training was provided to school teachers, local technicians, and other school staff members nominated by the school authorities.
  • Each school was provided with learning modules on clean energy access developed under the global Capacity Building Hub of the UN's Sustainable Energy for All initiative.
  • Employees of Power Grid were involved in the implementation of the project. This enhanced their exposure to the CSR projects.

Output

  • Dissemination of 10,338 solar lanterns to school children and teachers
  • Dissemination of 40,000 plus customized comic cum colour books for awareness generation on clean energy access in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha
  • Provision of technical training to 100 plus candidates including school teachers
  • Provision of end user training to 10,000 plus students and teachers

Duration: December 2014 onwards

Project Partners: Power Grid Corporation of India Limited

Objectives

  • To provide clean lighting to 10,000 students in need of reliable lighting facility, through the dissemination of stand-alone solar lanterns;
  • To increase the after dusk/post school study hours for students to facilitate improved academic performance; and
  • To facilitate livelihood opportunities for energy enterprise personnel and technicians through business linkages

Outcomes

  • The project enhanced the exposure of children to solar technology.
  • It helped cut down on the usage of kerosene oil.
  • It facilitated access to clean energy for basic lighting.
  • It boosted the confidence of rural households in using solar technology.
Posted on: 17 March 2016