The Bharathiya Vikas Trust and Karnataka Bank, in association with Selco Foundation, is set to provide solar lights to poor families here with one or more students at a subsidized rate to aid them in their studies. Around 100 families are expected to benefit in the first phase of the project. The ‘House Light Project,’ which costs Rs 9,500 per house, was initiated in November last year KM Udupa, managing trustee of Bharatiya Vikas Trust (BVT) ,said each beneficiary will receive two lights, one solar panel and a battery in the scheme.
“To avoid misuse, Rs 4,000 has been levied from every household towards the project. The Karnataka Bank has set aside Rs 5 lakh for the first phase of the project,” Udupa told TOI. “After successful implementation of the first phase, other banks have expressed interest to be part of the second phases. Business organisations that do transactions above Rs 100 crore can also contribute up to 2%, Udupa said. The scheme was earlier implemented at Sagri and migrant workers, Valekar brothers, were among the beneficiaries.
Lenkyappa Valekar and his wife Santa said their children could now spend more time on their studies. “The facility has enabled my children to study without kerosene lamps,” Valekar said. Valekar’s son Ganesh, who is in class V, told TOI, “Earlier we used to finish our studies before it got dark. At night we used to study using kerosene lamps. I want to be an engineer and I believe these lights will help me realise my dream.”