In most rural households in India, kerosene lamps illuminating a small room where children and adults share a meal together, is a common sight. Lack of proper ventilation causes heavy CO2 and black carbon emissions to get accumulated into small confined spaces, resulting in respiratory illnesses, eye-sight problems -even illnesses such as influenza and pneumonia.

One kerosene lantern consuming a litre of the fuel in a week emits 0.1 tonnes of CO2 annually. According to World Bank estimates, in developing nations respiratory problems result in the death of nearly 2 million children every year. In India, 2.5 million people get burnt from kerosene lamp accidents every year, with over 350,000 victims being children.

Nearly 25 per cent of the population does not have access to electricity in the country. Keeping in mind the gravity of the situation, and in a country where, The Coca-Cola India Foundation, ‘Anandana’, partnered with Advit Foundation, Manthan Sansthan, Prayatna Sansthan, and Social Action For Rural Advancement (SARA) to use solar electrification to bring a hope to more than 1 lakh individuals and familiesin Rajasthan. The objective of the initiative was to reach 100 villages in Rajasthan and install solar lights in 15,000 households. The programme also aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2019 target of providing round-the-clock electricity to rural India.

Anandana aims to empower women to become advocates for the usage of renewable energy resources to protect the environment. Towards this vision, training was provided to over 300 women enabling them to install, maintain and repair the solar lights. This additionally created employment opportunities for them, making them self-sufficient. With this new resource, shops can be kept open at all hours, children can study at night and the health and well-being of families maintained. The environmental impact is also enormous-over 4 lakh litres of kerosene will be prevented from being consumed and 11 lakh kilograms of CO2 will not enter the environment as a result.

The future looks bright for these villages in Rajasthan and holds a promise of happiness, health and prosperity.