One family has taken the initiative to sponsor the solar panels and the recharging units. For a small fee the other families are able to rent a solar lantern for the evening/night. They gather the lantern as the sun fades, make use of it throughout the night and return the lantern to be charged early in the morning. I watched as people walked to and from the home with these lanterns, and witnessed a most positive attitude in general.
In the scene above a young girl prepares spices for the family meal by hand, with a lantern guiding her efforts. She of course knew that she was being photographed and would stop now and then out of curiosity, giggle a little bit and then continue with her work mostly for the sake of the camera since she was more than likely done with the spices. She would normally perform this task in a dimly lit room, but now has the glow of the lantern to her side.
As the good people of Humana People to People India explained to me, when the sun disappears so does the light from these villages. Any activities performed after this point are almost always done with only the moonlight to act as a guide. As we drove home on this night I realized how true their statement was. As we drove along country roads before our connection with the main road, complete darkness overpowered my senses. For me this was temporary, while this was the norm for the rest of the population.
For more information regarding this initiative, one may connect with LaBL at the following link:
As for the school in this village, we look forward to its reopening in 2013 and will visit this village hopefully later next year to document the changes as a result.
Halim Ina Photography