EducationWorld Grand Jury

Parikrma Humanity Foundation spearheads ‘Light Up Lives’ initiative

November 8, 2016

Bangalore based Parikrma Humanity Foundation – a non-profit organisation that aims to address the growing gap in urban India between those benefitting from economic liberalisation and those who are not – hosted the Parikrma Festival of Science from January 21 to 23, 2016. The festival, which aspires to create a space for larger discussions on science and society that not only permit students to learn science but to practice it as well, was themed around ‘Energy’ where students learnt about the importance of energy and the benefits of renewable sources of energy for the future. In keeping with the notion of ‘Practising Science’, the event aimed at inspiring students to take their learnings from the festival and actually implement it later on. This is what led to the ‘Light Up lives project’.
Parikrma Humanity Foundation, in collaboration with Delhi Public School (North) and Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Energy Development (MGIRED) had identified Chilandavadi, a hamlet in the midst of the Kanakapura Range that had no form of electricity.

Following a preliminary visit, two households in the village were identified to be a part of the project. Both houses were mud huts with thatched roofs and no form of ventilation in order to prevent wild animals and reptiles from entering the house. So the houses are perpetually dark and while the children go to school, they cannot study inside their dark homes. They desperately needed light inside and outside their houses.

Parikrma Humanity Foundation and Delhi Public School collaboratively raised funds for this project which were then used to purchase the solar lighting system for each of the houses. The materials were procured by the team at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Energy. Each Solar Lighting System comprises of a 60Wp panel, 40 Ah battery and 3 luminaries.

The two beneficiary families also contributed a small amount for each lighting system. The purpose behind this was to give them a sense of ownership and responsibility that would serve as a motivation to use and maintain the product.

On August 24, 2016, five Grade 9 students from Parikrma & DPS, each, along with the MGIRED team travelled to the hamlet. In the presence of the beneficiary families they installed the solar lighting system in both the homes. The students were given the opportunity to not only interact with the families but to also assist the team during the installation process.

The day ended on a high note with the bulb coming ‘alight’ and huge smiles on the faces of the family members. The foundation hopes that in the near future, the same team can once again identify many more homes that require electricity and ‘Light Up’ their lives as well.

Parikrma Humanity Foundation believes in equal education and while it follows the CBSE curriculum just like many other schools in the city, the way it imparts learning is unique. The foundation believes that school-based education links learning to structured curricula and while children can ask questions, it is only within the limitations of time and resources that the curriculums permit. It believes that the need of the hour is for schools to provide students with the flexibility to practice and apply their learnings in their everyday lives and to the socio-political context they live in.

Bangalore based Parikrma Humanity Foundation is a non-profit organisation providing the best possible English language education to the poorest from the slums of Bangalore, India. To learn more, visit www.parikrmafoundation.org.

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