While most of us who live in the urban side of the economy, enjoy various benefits of safe drinking water, sanitation, electricity, and fuel, we tend to forget that 67% of the Indian population still reside in the rural area. Agriculture is their primary means of livelihood, it is the mainstem of their socio-economic structure. There has been a certain degree of progress over the past decade with the Swacch Bharat Program and Jan Dhan Initiative. However, there is still a lot to be done in terms of providing for their basic infrastructural needs like clean water, electricity, medicine, and sanitation.
It is surprising that even with two decades in the second millennium, over 300 million Indians have no electricity at their homes. Most of them resort to archaic ways of energy generation with live chillas, diesel, kerosene, etc. that are hazardous to the health as well as the environment. So how will their next generation learn? How will they adapt to more reliable forms of financial support? How will they move ahead with the times in general? All these are questions that can be answered with Solar Power.
Solar Power can become that simple infrastructural bridge between the rural areas and development to improve their lifestyle and expose them to new opportunities. Let’s take our smaller neighboring nation Bangladesh, where over 3 million rural residences have been installed with solar home systems. Additionally, there’s been a drastic drop in the production cost of solar panels globally due to technological advancements, resulting in an almost 70% reduction in the sales price.
This has encouraged the government to take bold steps like sanctioning over 4604 solar projects in the rural areas to power 6000+ villages. Our government has also heavily incentivized the sale of solar panels to small businesses or houses in rural areas. With the involvement of private players like Tata Solar, Jain Irrigation, Greenlight Planet, and more, we have managed to install about 3.5 million solar lighting solutions throughout India.
Even 5-6 hours of uninterrupted lighting and electricity in rural areas can increase their productivity by 30-40%. It drastically reduces the health hazards caused by smoke, kerosene, fires, and diesel. Smart Farming with solar-powered pumps and other small machinery is the next best thing that results from the provision of continuous electricity in rural areas. Adding greatly to the quality and quantity of farmers’ daily output. Electricity also opens up an opportunity for the younger generations to learn about modern progress, innovation, and trends to excel academically and socially for a better future.