LED bulbs for Indian poor, courtesy American girl

Ashok Kumar/OneWorld South Asia

A teenage American girl of Indian origin is lighting up the lives of the underprivileged Indians by distributing LED bulbs bought the money raised by her for the noble cause.

While working on her science project as a seventh grader, Meera Vashisht, a 13-year-old girl, chanced upon the news of Indian government’s UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) programme.

Realising the impact of LED bulbs on the lives of poor and the environment Meera took it upon herself to raise funds for contributing in her own way to the big change.

After making up her mind there was no looking back for this determined American teenager who wanted to do something for her native land. With the support of her parents and after almost a year of reaching out to five hundred people in her neighbourhood, Meera collected $2,079.51 or approximately ₹1,40,000, to purchase LED bulbs from Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) for distributing them to the residents of slum areas of Keshavpuram in Delhi.

EESL is the implementing agency for the UJALA programme.

Sharing her happiness after distributing the bulbs, a cheerful Meera strongly feels that her initiative will inspire young minds across the globe for a better future and a sustainable world.

Meera quipped that LED bulbs use less than half the energy of an inefficient bulb and runs for more than seven years. “I am very happy to have been able to carry out the distribution of LED bulbs and hope to inspire young minds across the globe for working towards energy efficiency,” she said.

Meera has a strong belief that her effort will not just result in lighting up about 46 houses for a year but also reduce electricity bills of the targeted households by Rs 2,500. Significantly, her initiative will further strengthen India’s commitment to achieving 30-35% reduction in carbon emissions.

The most importantly factor is that there will be significant reduction in CO2 emissions every year.

Government of India’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for all (UJALA) programme is not only making waves in India but has also created a buzz internationally.

Jitender Kohli, Project Manager of UJALA scheme, Delhi said that the UJALA scheme is set to play a key role in huge energy savings in the state with the use of energy efficient LEDs.

Kohli added that LEDs, in the long run, would serve as a cost effective method and a safe alternative to the traditional lighting. “Every bit of energy that is saved by switching over to LED bubs will help us to light up homes in various corners of the country. It is inspiring to see the young generation taking lead in conserving the environment,” he said.

Under UJALA, over 12.60 crore LED bulbs have already been distributed across the country. This is leading to a daily energy savings of about 4.48 crore kWh and resulting in avoidance of about 3,278 MW of peak demand.

Moreover, the estimated cumulative cost reduction of bills of consumers on a daily basis is Rs 17.94 crores. The initiative is part of Government of India’s efforts to spread the message of energy efficiency in the country.

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