This Diwali, PRIDE India, the rural arm of Save The Children India is taking a step towards kerosene free villages through “I” – LLUMINATE. The I-lluminate initiative hopes to open up a child’s world to education by providing solar powered lamps to the village of Mahad in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. For this initiative, the NGO has leveraged the power of Wishberry, a crowd-funding platform where independent artists, social activists and NGOs can source funds for their various projects.
The campaign begins with the story of a young child in a village in rural India, who is struggling with a kerosene lamp –
“Away from the world we live in, is a world immersed in darkness, even during the festival of lights. A world, where a child is scared to dream big because she knows that her ambitions cannot be fulfilled in her limited means. She has just started to have access to basic education but she wishes to steal in a few more moments before sunset to review her schoolwork. These few moments missed before sunset means losing her childhood because she cannot bring the sun home as she dreams of. She cannot steal the sun’s light to illuminate her hours of homework. She strains over the flickering light of the kerosene lamp with 5 other children in the slightly lit room with the disturbing fumes hurting her eyes. Her youngest brother has burnt himself twice while she has hurt herself with the broken glass.“
The project then introduces a solution in the form of a solar powered lamp, which is not only lightweight, portable, safe and child friendly, but also does not emit dangerous fumes unlike the kerosene lamp.
In an attempt to make it an interactive one, the I-lluminate campaign at the Wishberry platform, started off with a blank map consumed in darkness. PRIDE added more lights to the village, as and when it received donations.
The campaign has been promoted on the ‘Save the Children’ Facebook page too, starting off with a blank map of Mahad block in Raigad district. Regular updates from the project are being shared on the wall along with other projects from the NGO.
A donation of Rs. 500 helps bring a solar powered lamp to illuminate one child and we hope to see the entire village illuminated!