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Solar energy lights up lives

Anantapur: Sriharipuram village has become a ‘Solar Puram’ after the entire village got connected to a central solar energy system and nearly 200 households in this village in Ramagiri mandal are seeing a marked improvement in their lives.


Students are able to study through the night with no interruption in power; Ramanjineyulu, a handloom weaver from Uravakonda, is able to o weave two  additional saris per fortnight while Nagaveni, a tailor, is earning Rs 250 a day with a solar energy-run pedal motor on her sewing machine, double what she was making earlier since she can now handle a larger volume of work.

Setting up a central solar lighting system was the brainchild of Mohammad Khan, regional manager, Ananta Pragathi Grameena Bank. "Apart from agriculture, the predominant activities in this district are handloom weaving, tailoring and dairy development, which are also hit by interruption in power supply," Khan said.

Convincing some NGOs to assist with subsidies, the unit cost of the solar lighting system was fixed at Rs 27,000 in which 40 per cent of the subsidy would come from the NGOs and 50 per cent of loan amount would be provided by the bank, with 10 per cent being collected from the beneficiaries.

Rangaiah, former Ramagiri mandal Praja Parishad president and native of Sriharipuram village, acknowledged, "We have no  question of power cut because our street lights too are from solar energy after the people in the village shared the expenses."

More than 120 houses in Kondapuram village, Kalyanadurg mandal, now receive solar lighting.

"We have targeted to provide solar energy to at least 10,000 people by March 2013 and efforts would be continued to make Anantapur a solar-powered district," Khan said.

So far, 4,000 families have benefited as the Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank sanctioned loans worth ` 11 crore for the purpose.

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Solar system and solar panels:
Solar system and solar panels:
Solar light system and garden light: