World Bank Award for lighting solution to tribal schools and nomadic communities

Innovative solution based on the simple principle of generating electricity by pedaling has earned Save Bombay Committee (SBC), an NGO, and Vigyan Ashram (VA), affiliated to Center of Indian Institute of Education, a prize award of US Dollars 20,000 (equivalent to Rupees eight lakhs approximately) at India Development Marketplace 2007, a national competition organized by the World Bank. Mr. Harshad Kamdar and Mr. Dilip Sankarreddy of SBC and Mr. Yogesh Kulkarni of VA jointly participated in India Development Marketplace 2007 where the entry "Human-power based lighting solution for nomadic and tribal people" was accepted as one of the 20 final winners out of over 2500 entries received from throughout India.

Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, June 9, 2007 /India PRwire/ -- Innovative solution based on the simple principle of generating electricity by pedaling has earned Save Bombay Committee (SBC), an NGO, and Vigyan Ashram (VA), affiliated to Center of Indian Institute of Education, a prize award of US Dollars 20,000 (equivalent to Rupees eight lakhs approximately) at India Development Marketplace 2007, a national competition organized by the World Bank.

Mr. Harshad Kamdar and Mr. Dilip Sankarreddy of SBC and Mr. Yogesh Kulkarni of VA jointly participated in India Development Marketplace 2007 where the entry “Human-power based lighting solution for nomadic and tribal people” was accepted as one of the 20 final winners out of over 2500 entries received from throughout India.

Tribal boarding schools (Adhivasi Ashram Shalas) located as they are in far-flung rural areas suffer from complete power outage or long hours of power cuts that hamper studies and development of students.

Also, grid power, wind, solar and grid power are not feasible in nomadic camps due to constant travel of the communities. Currently nomads and adivasies, who form about 15% of Indian population, stay in temporary huts and spend nights in the dark or use kerosene lamps.

For last one year, SBC and VA have been perfecting mono-wheel cycles for optimal power generation. In addition, a portable generator unit, weighing less than 3 kg, which can be attached to any cycle, is specially designed for nomadic communities. 15 minutes of pedaling can provide light, using energy efficient LED lamps, for more than 4 hours. These solutions are already implemented as pilot projects at an Ashram Shala and a nomadic camp in Thane district of Maharashtra.

With the award money, these social innovators intend not only to increase the efficiency and utility but also to bring down the cost of these gadgets. Lighting up over 40 Adivasi Ashram Shalas and 12 nomadic communities across Maharashtra and Gujarat over a two year period is targeted. Training of rural people in the fabrication of cheap energy-efficient LED lamps, so that it serves as a means of livelihood for them, is also planned.

Notes to Editor

Save Bombay Committee, an NGO, has been agitating since 1973 for improving the quality of life. SBC works for the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources. Website: www.savebombaycommittee.org

Vigyan Ashram is a center of Indian Institute Of Education, Pune. Over the years it has developed a program – Rural Development Education System. So far 45 schools adopted this program. It also has a FAB LAB established by MIT, USA. Website: www.vigyanashram.com

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