SUCCESS STORIES: IN SPITE OF DIFFICULTIES
Every crisis provides an opportunity for innovation and resilience. These are the silver lining that drive people forward and motivate them to work. In the context of this project, in spite of the crisis, discussion with partner NGOs suggested the resilience of these organizations as well as the beneficiaries in taking the installation work forward in spite of all odds.
In the Kaikhali Village of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, the NGO named Dakshin Kalikata Krira O Sanskritik Parishad have installed more than 50 MSDs to the house of marginalized rural SC/ST community during the lockdown period. Now, recently due to the Kalbaisakhi & heavy rainfall, the electricity was collapsed for 3 to 4 days in that particular area. In that situation, the beneficiaries get the full benefit from the MSDs. They had also charged their mobile phones for daily purposes. According to the beneficiaries, the LED illumination was good and it is enough to maintain their household chores at night.
In the Sholadahar Village of Kharagpur, West Bengal, the NGO named Kharagpur Astitwa Society (KAS) have installed 12 MSDs to the house of marginalized rural SC/ST community during the lockdown period. According to a beneficiary, named Babulal Hembram, who lost his job due to lockdown though managed to install a micro solar dome in his kachcha house told that the MSD is helpful to reduce the present electricity bill and to tackle with the problem of frequent loadshading. He had also charged his small mobile phone from it and fully satisfied with the MSD.
In Tripura, NBIRT, the implementing NGO, instructed their installers to choose the houses where a smaller number of family members are there and to make sure to keep 1-meter distance during installation during the lockdown period. One beneficiary, named Usha Malakar, age 95 years, has found the MSD is very much useful for her daily household chores. During the lockdown, she somehow managed the money and installed the MSDs. As per her statement, “During the night my vision becomes low due to my old age, so this device is very much beneficial for me for cleaning my small tin house and daily cocking purpose.
Monika Rai, a woman from the SC community and a resident of Batabari village of Matiali
Block, Jalpaiguri, aged 35 years old, who lives with her three daughters and husband has
been using the MSD to enhance her income through making dry food packets. Her husband
brought big dry food packets and she made many small packets from the big ones. Then her
husband goes to the market and supplies the small packets to the shopkeepers. She has one
room in her house and has installed it on the roof. Now she is able to work 1 to 2 hours more
and her three daughters are studying under this light when they face the power cuts. 3 to 4
days is she doing this type of work using this light and other days she is doing her domestic
work. She is happy now as it reduces their electricity bill too.
Josawala Barman, age 65 years, an old woman from Schedule caste and she belongs from
Pachagarh village of Mathabhanga-1 Block, Cooch Behar district. She lives with her younger
son who is casual labour in their village. According to her perception, she expresses her
gratitude to the Department of Science of Technology, Govt. of India, and other stakeholders
for giving him the MSD home light system. The MSD light is installed in her room which is
attached to the kitchen room. So she is able to do household chores and other economic
activities at night time. The old lady doing handicraft activity for making Bamboo seats, it is
locally known as “Mora” and her handicraft activity is able to enhance her income between
1200/- to 1500/- per month. She told us, her income increases along with a decrease in her
kerosene and electricity consumption. According to her, in the pre-installation period, her
electricity bill cost around 300/- to 400/- Indian rupees on a monthly basis but after the
installation of MSD, it would drastically fall in the cost of the electricity bill. She expresses
her happiness to tell us currently she paid only 5.00/- rupees in the month of January 2021.
Gopal Newar, a 32-year young man belonging to the ST community, lives with his 7 family
members in Chalsa Mahabari village of Matiali block in Jalpaiguri district. In the daytime, he
is working as daily labour and in the evening time, he teaches 4 to 5 children with his two
children. Before the installation of this light, he used electricity and kerosene as a source of
light but now he uses MSD as a primary source of lighting. He teaches the children for 2 to 3
As a Disaster Management Kit:
Due to the cyclonic storm Amphan, many of the households did not have power supply for few days continually due some technical problems as the technicians were not allowed to move during lock down as well as the existing disaster. MSD has helped them during the night illumination and charged their mobile phones so, they stayed connected.