This project was organised by the IEEE SIGHT Volunteers of Madras Section along with PSNA College of Engineering and an NGO – LITTER OF LIGHT, which object is to light up the dark regions across the globe. The team made a survey visit to the Sirumalai, a reserved forest area which is located at Dindigul District, TamiNadu, India. The total population of Sirumalai is around 7500 of which only around 55% has access to electricity. The rest of the people spend their time recklessly in darkness. This covers about 500 houses without any electrification. Most of the community members are dependent on kerosene and candles for the source of light during night time. There have been fire accidents happening because of certain careless handling of the kerosene there by leading to deaths and destruction.
The second phase of the project began on January 26, 2018. The volunteers built and installed solar street lights using PVC pipes, water bottles, and other materials which were originally thrown out as litter from about 60 houses. It was a great volunteering experience for the volunteers to work in an area where they had to walk about 5-6 kms to provide light for a single house. The fist phase of the project was completed on July 2016 in which the team was able to teach the villagers the technical parts of the projects so that they can maintain the lights by themselves in the future. Thus the lighting of Solar Lights was a great boon for the women to have secured environment, helped the students to continue their studies even after the dusk, and provided opportunities for men to work in a better way.
Interested in receiving funding for your SIGHT group to engage in a project similar to this? The 2018 SIGHT Call for Proposals is a available now and can be found here.