In its march towards emerging as the first solar village of Dakshina Kannada, half of the total houses in Perabe in Puttur taluk have solar lights now. The government, corporate sector, other donors and a non-government organisation (NGO) have joined hands to ensure that all houses in the village have at least two solar lights each.
According to N. Sheena Shetty, convener, Solar Energy Abhiyan of Jana Shikshana Trust, the NGO, which is the motivating agency of the project, said that 650 houses of total 1,272 houses in the village have solar lights now. Mr. Shetty, who was formerly Ombudsman, MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), Dakshina Kannada, said that the village should have been declared as solar village by now. But the government support to the project is not at the expected level. However, the NGO is pursuing the project to ensure that the objective is realised.
He said that the 650 houses have been provided with two solar lights and a mobile charger. Of them, each one of the 40 houses of endosulfan victims have been provided with a fan as an additional facility. It is from the Rs. 8.30 lakh area development fund of Ivan D’Souza, MLC. Of them, Rs. 3 lakh is yet to be released but the facilities have been provided. In addition to the houses, 11 anganwadis in the village have been provided with two lights and a fan each.
He said that efforts are on to provide solar lights to 118 houses of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with the funds drawn from the local gram panchayat and MESCOM. He said that Karnataka Bank Ltd., Mangaluru Special Economic Zone Ltd (MSEZL), SELCO Foundation, have contributed funds for the project. Mr. Shetty said that the NGO has plans to cover all anganwadis with solar lights in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. So far, 159 anganwadis have been provided with two solar lights.