Solar lanterns are set to light up the lives several illiterate tribal women in Dungarpur district. Women members of self help groups (SHGs) in Aantri block of the district have been chosen under the first phase of a project which aims to make 60,000 solar lamps. The women would be provided training on assembling of solar LED lanterns by experts from IIT-Mumbai and the raw materials too would be supplied by the institution.
On Monday, a team of experts interacted with the women who expressed their consent for lantern making. “Solar lanterns which are available in the market for Rs 600 to Rs 700 will be made locally by women here and sold at a cheaper price of Rs 120. Still the women would earn a profit of Rs 60 per lamp,” said Indrajeet Singh, collector, Dungarpur.
The IIT-Mumbai team included professors who gave a brief presentation to the women on the benefits of lantern making. Visualising the marketing potential of solar lights in the country , IIT-Mumbai has undertaken similar projects in four states where solar lamps are being made and marketed through women self help groups.
The initiative has helped hundreds of women earn a livelihood and increase their standard of living. An MoU would be signed soon between Rajeevika (Rajasthan Gram Aajeevika Vikas Parishad) and IIT-M after which a four-day technical training will be provided to the women on lamp making. Rajeevika state project director Anil Kimar, district manager B L Joshi and many others were present during the meeting on Monday.