Sirish Nandimandalam, Varun Srinivasan and Varun Sudhakar students of Oberoi International School in Mumbai are no ordinary teenagers. They are like many other school students in the metropolis of Mumbai who live life within the comfort of the city. What sets them apart is their grit to go beyond their comfort zone and actively contribute towards the society. They have taken it upon themselves to provide solar lighting to 1,000 rural houses in the next one year with "Project Chirag".
The three teenagers have been keen on wanting to do something for the society and were looking for a platform to channelize their energy for social good. They came across 'Project Chirag', an initiative of Chirag Rural Development Foundation which was started by a group of college students at H.R. College, Mumbai.
The initiative provides solar lighting to villages which have no access to electricity and has so far provided solar lights to 237 villages across 7 states impacting more than 45,000 villagers. The students were very impressed with the way youngsters had started this initiative and impacted the lives of thousands of villagers. They connected with the NGO and enrolled as Youth Ambassadors to further the cause and actively went about fund-raising to light up houses.
After a couple of months of active outreach, they successfully raised funding to light up 500 rural houses in the state of Rajasthan with solar lights. A team of 7 members including the three teenagers and 4 Project Chirag team members namely Ayesha Mirchandani, Ajay Damodar, Alexandra Smith and Suryakant Phadke successfully provided solar lighting to 500 houses in the Barmer District of Rajasthan across 10 days. Villages impacted include Aarowala Tala, Beniwalsar, Jakhoro Dhani 1, Jakhoro Dhani 2, Pokarsar, Puraniyo ka tala and Rawatsar.
"It is sad to see that there are villages without any form of electricity in this day and age of technology. I wanted to bring light to such villages as I believe it will transform their lives in years to come. The smiles on their faces once they received the lights were priceless" says Sirish. The team visited each of the villages to explain to the villagers the usage of the solar lights and how to maintain them. Each household was given two solar lights as a part of the offering to ensure a qualitative impact in the lives of the villagers. The project was implemented in partnership with a local NGO called Gramin Vikas Evam Chetna Sansthan.
"50% of India's population is below the age of 30 and it is essential that youngsters actively contribute towards the inclusive growth story of India. Youngsters like Sirish and Varun are shining examples of how the youth can bring about change" said Jyotirmoy Chatterji, Co-Founder, Project Chirag. The initiative looks forward to partnering with schools, colleges and companies across the country to fulfil its vision of "Light for All".
Source- One India