Manipur: Over 1,000 portable solar lamps distributed in remote villages
Solar lamps distributed in remote areas of Manipur

Imphal: In a bid to address the irregular electricity supply in Manipur, especially in remote areas, Schneider Electric India Foundation, through its CSR programme in association with Sunbird Trust, kickstarted its second phase of solar lamp distribution in the state on Saturday.

Sunbird Trust, a North East India-based NGO, is working with the objective of “Peace through Education”.

The distribution will continue till the end of March and around 950 solar lamps will be distributed to 12 remote villages.

Over 5,000 individuals can expect a better quality of life by receiving these solar lamps. These will include residents of Muirei in Ukhrul district, Sinam Kom in Kangpokpi district, Waphong in Senapati district, Pungmon, Ijeirong, Bakwa, Puichi, Haochong, Kabuikhullen (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) and Khundong in Noney district in Manipur, said an official.

Earlier, in the first phase of solar lamp distribution last December, Sunbird Trust distributed 250 portable solar lamps benefitting over 1,200 persons from under-resourced households in the villages of Kamjong, Tamenglong and Senapati districts of Manipur. The communities covered under this phase included those in the villages of Chadong in the Kamjong district, Aben in the Tamenglong district, and Oinam Laila in the Senapati district. Moreover, widows at Tumuyon Khullen and needy staff of various schools were among those who benefitted, it said.

According to an official statement, many remote villages in Northeast India are affected by irregular electricity supply and desire to make a difference, Schneider Electric India Foundation is reaching out to some of these areas by supporting the community through Green Energy Solutions like Portable Solar Lamps.

Besides villages in Manipur, the Foundation is reaching out to communities bereft of any electricity supply in extremely remote villages near the Sino-India border in Arunachal Pradesh’s Shi Yomi district, it stated.

In Arunachal Pradesh’s Papikrung village, Sunbird Trust at the request of the state government is helping run a Government Residential School Village. With the new initiative, 100 households in tiny Chengo, Soyorgang, and Yorkodum Villages around Papikrung village will also benefit from the portable solar lamp distribution, it said.

Col Christopher Rego (Retd.), founder and CEO of Sunbird Trust mentioned that many parts of Northeast India were ‘out of sight and out of mind’ and expressed his gratitude to Schneider Electric India Foundation for their outreach to this part of the country.

If at all the lamps could be transported to so many far-flung locations, he credited and complimented the Army and Assam Rifles for their immense logistical support.
These portable solar lamps distributed under the project are known for their durability, and high luminosity and for supplying up to 36 hours of light with a single charging. The lamps are charged with the help of a small solar plate that comes with the kit. An additional feature of this kit is that it can charge mobile telephones.

Some beneficiaries who have received the lamps describe them as ‘game changers’ that are not only lighting up their lives and helping children study better but also facilitating women in weaving and knitting for their livelihoods after dark.

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