India is the second most populous country in the world, with a whooping 1.21 billion people living in it. China is number one with 1.35 billion. For that reason, India is one of the biggest energy guzzlers in the world.
Recently, top Indian official, India’s Rural Development Minister D. M Vara Prasada, urged his country to invest more in alternative energy sources. The Minister was speaking during a workshop called ‘Renewable Energy Sources and their interconnection with power grid’.
According to The Hindu, Mr. Prasada said subsidies are necessary to promote alternative energy since conventional, fossil fuel types are running out. He knows that for this country to prosper, clean, renewable energy types are the best bet.
Lots of Indians would agree with the Minister. According to a census estimate, in some regions of India the vast majority of people rely on kerosene, LPG, and other toxic fuels for lighting purposes. The same situation is found in developing countries of Asia and Africa.
India has over 120 million school-going children and more than 70% of them still depend on oil lamps and this issue needs to be addressed at the earliest.
In order to tackle the problem, Dr. Ranganayakulu Bodavala, a Harvard alumnus and founder of Thrive, an NGO that works to give tribal people more access to technology, developed a series of LED-based solutions to address a range of home and institutional lighting needs for rural areas. As part of the project, he created Thrive Energy Technologies Pvt Ltd, a limited company to manufacture these LED LIGHTS on a large scale.
The lights are distributed through OneChildOneLight, whose mission is to provide every child in India with a study light that is “bright, not polluting, dependable and economical by the year 2014.” And so the LED Study-Light (pictured) for children was born.
Emerging LED lighting technology is semiconductor-based and presents a simple solution to the problem. With the white LED revolution it is possible to provide a simple light suitable for reading purpose that consumes less than a quarter watt but provides 10 to 50 times more useable light than a wick lamp.
LED Lights such as the LED Study-Light can give long hours of light with simple reliable and re-chargeable NiMh batteries which can be charged through any popular mobile charger or through solar. This light replaces Kerosene lamps, reduce carbon emissions and protect people’s health against toxic fumes. Anyone can help by donating one study light to a child, or a set of lights to a school.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.