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Solar Connectivity

The tiny village of Wagharwadi, in Thane District, Maharashtra, has yet to get electricity. Until recently, the villagers had to use candles, kerosene lamps and torches fashioned out of sticks, after dusk.

Till a year ago, they thought that Rs, 1,600/- was too steep an amount to pay for a solar lamp.

Electronics entrepreneur Kumaar Thakkar made just one modification- the addition of a tiny plug to charge mobile phones- and suddenly the lamps were in great demand!

Solar lamp sales increased, and so did those of cellphones too.

Accidental fires, respiratory ailments, and other problems are becoming things of the past with the increased use of these lamps.

The villagers have recently discovered another use for the lamp- it is possible to plug a tiny six-volt television into the solar socket and view cricket matches!


Vinod_Sharma said...

Just goes to show how small innovations made by people of imagination tuned to realities on ground can work wonders.

Why did none of those well-paid marketing and or product development guys in big companies think it up? Most have perhaps never stayed in a village which has no electricity. Or they may have had just one-night stands, Rahul-style, and hurried back!

Mahesh Aadhya Kalal said...

We need more encouragement through special schemes and programmes with financial support (Subsidies). It is all about the political commitment towards betterment of society .

Ugich Konitari said...

You think someone like Ambanis, owners of REL, would gift these solar lamps to the villagers of the State where they live ? 100 Rs a month on installments, too.

A great pat on the back to Kumaar Thakkar, though...

Vineeta said...

Thats a perfect example of innovation! I still wonder how cellphone charging plug gave boost to the solar lamp sale! Whatever he created avenues for more demand in this small village :D

manju said...


The men from the villages who worked in the cities brought cell phones back to the villages with them. But without electricity they could not be used.

A villager said , "We never had phones in the village. If we wanted to talk to family or friends, we had to walk to the surrounding villages - sometimes more than an hour one way."

So there was a demand for an easy way to charge the phones. This the solar lamps made available. Hence the increase in demand for solar lamps.

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