Electricity is the most basic that we take for granted. Even today, it is not easily available to many people in rural areas. Kanpur one such backward village in the Girwa block of Rajasthan where people are struggling for the most basic amenities.
For us, life without electricity is most keenly felt in the street at night.There have been many accidents, and we do not feel safe to step out either,” says Kamla Devi
Through the Sakhi project, Manjari foundation mobilised women into SHGs.For the first time in their lives, women got a platform to meet and discuss issues affecting them. They were even more motivated with the formation of the village’s first Village Organisation – Umang Gram Sangathan – which raised street lights as one of the major issues. In response, Manjari Foundation in collaboration with Frontier Market took an initiative and distributed street lights, home lights and smokeless chulhas (cookstoves) to SHG women. The women decided to install street lights outside the VO office, and in every helmet of village, accident prone areas and at the Nand Ghar where women hold their meetings.
“When the lights installed, there was a sense of excitement among the people. Now after sunset our children can study, with the help of smokeless chulhas, women can cook safely and most importantly, we can walk around in the streets at night without any fear,” exclaim the villagers.
The VO has now decided to sell smokeless chulhas at Rs. 200 each and solar lights at Rs. 100 each. The money will be used to set up a revolving fund that will support individual members who want to borrow money
“Every evening when the lights glow in the street of Kanpur village, the face of villagers also light up with a smile.. Slowly but surely, life in our village is changing for the better” – Umang Gram Sangathan, Kanpur (Zawar)