JY 2012 Day 3- SELCO

We are passing through the beautiful fields… We wake up with the ‘vande mataram’ song sung by A.R. Rehman played in all the bogies on our PA system. But let me tell you its not fun when you work/rock for 18 hours, sleep late and they want to wake up at 6 in the morning with this song! It’s a wonderful and fresh morning though we had to wait at Whitefield (Bangalore) station for more than 5 hours yesterday night. Train signals has been always a big problem with Jagriti Train and it affects the whole schedule but scintillating efforts of yatra team makes the program run effectively.

As a safety concern we did our 1st fire mock drill in Hubli on 26th Dec. We then visited ‘Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya’ campus which is completely solar electrified by SELCO. Their students sung very well in welcome event and kept name of their legacies of Pdt. Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal.

Here are some key points from the presentation we have seen at SELCO-

  1. SELCO started in 1995 and reached to 130000 houses till today. SELCO is actively working in Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Madurai as well.
  2. 40% of population in India do not have electricity connection and rest who have it face minimum 2 hours to 17 hours of power cut. 30-40 % people in India still use wood for energy needs.
  3. 30-40% of the power generated goes waste in transmission!
  4. SELCO is registered as for profit organization but profit is being measured in social impact.
  5. SELCO have street hawker model in which company provides solar lamps to hawkers on rent in the evening.
  6. Go to school and you have light at your house funda! SELCO have central charging points in some schools where students can get their lamps charged. This innovative idea is to encourage more students to come to school and retain old ones.

Problems faced by SELCO-

  1. Lack of awareness
  2. Big capital investment
  3. Centralized system

People sitting in metro cities and malls use ACs, heavy lights but farmers in the villages don’t get enough power to start their pumps. The irony in India is many of the people living in villages around power plants also have big power cuts. We were left with some important questions like how much research is happening to find solutions on basic problems of the people. Aren’t we unnecessarily busy in making computers and phones thinner and smarter?

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About Mukesh Bhavsar

Mukesh has done BE Civil from Mumbai University and MA Political Science from IGNOU. He is currently pursuing masters in HR Management from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). He has worked for a couple of NGOs in India and UK. He has also written for some newspapers and magazines on different social issues. He was one of the 20 volunteers of India-UK Global Xchange program in 2011. Mukesh is interested in entrepreneurship, writing, social work, travelling, and photography. Follow him on twitter- https://twitter.com/mukeshbhavsar88
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