Solar Lanterns Project
With a grant from the Rotary International Foundation obtained by the Rotary Club of Naperville, and support from some generous friends of India Development Coalition of America and Bharathi Theertha, a solar lantern project was implemented in eight villages near Chitrkoot, M. P. Deendayal Research Institute of Chitrakoot and Mr. Jiwan Prakash Sondhi of Detroit, MI, USA helped Bharathi Theertha in implementing this project in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Satna, M.P. The cost of this project was $25,000.
After the project was completed, Mr. Sondhi invited some staff members of The Energy Resources Institute (TERI, New Delhi, India). They were very much impressed with the project. The awarded a grant equivalent to $75,000 to implement solar lanterns in another 36 villages in the vicinity of Chitrakoot.
The benefits of the project included, 1) elimination of kerosene as a fuel to light the lanterns, thereby eliminating the risk of burns and diseases such as respiratory diseases and cancer to public health due to toxic kerosene vapors 2) providing clean light for six hours with a solar lantern instead of three hours of a dim light with a kerosene lantern, 3) providing a financial benefit to the poor villagers by their paying Rs. 60 per month ( $1.25) instead of Rs. 130 ($2.25) per month for leasing the lantern, and providing employment to two persons in a village for helping the charging of lanterns.