Author: Salesian Missions

Publication Date: August 03, 2020

INDIA: New solar lighting allows 360 youth to be able to study at home in the evening

The new solar lights are ensuring children can continue with their studies and working to reduce dropout rates.

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Aug. 3, 2020) Sixty families in six villages in the Rambrai area of Meghalaya, India, received solar lighting thanks to funding from Salesian Missions donors. Their rural homes had no electricity, and children were unable to do their homework and study for exams in the evenings. Mothers also struggled with getting things done at home in the evenings. The project impacted close to 360 youth, as each family had multiple children at home who struggled to keep up with their schoolwork.

Bosco Tech Nongstoin’s electrical department installed the solar lighting and helped families learn to properly care for the lights in their homes. The new solar lights are ensuring children can continue with their studies and working to reduce dropout rates. With the solar lights, families are saving money they had been spending on kerosene lamps, or they can spend the money on other needs of the family.

The solar lamps are also a clean energy source and are decreasing the pollutants from the smoke of the kerosene lamps. Through this project, families were taught about the importance of solar energy for the environment. Now that these families have the lights and the education on how to maintain them, they can provide replacement parts as needed over time.

“Projects like this ensure youth have the proper environment at home to do their homework and study for exams. They are able to come to school prepared and participate fully in their lessons,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “It is also a good opportunity to teach rural families about the importance of clean energy for the environment, which provides them a cost savings over time.”

India has the world’s fourth largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

Salesian missionaries living and working in India place special emphasis on rescuing and rehabilitating children engaged in child labor. There are Salesian-run programs throughout the country that have helped hundreds of thousands of vulnerable youth through the years, and this work continues today.


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