Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the twelfth largest state in terms of geographical size and third largest by population. 85 percent of the population lives in rural villages.
Undivided, Bihar had huge coal deposits and suitable water resources for both thermal and hydro power generation. Separation of Jharkhand has left Bihar with only 30 percent of the then existing total installed capacity (586 MW) to cover 70 percent of the original load. Existing power stations are decrepit and the areas served by the grid experience frequent power cuts. In addition, the grid does not reach deep into rural areas, where almost half of the villages are not electrified yet. At household level it is often the case that the only available and viable sources for lighting are kerosene lamps. Therefore the overall power sector in the state is far from satisfactory.
The majority of the rural population in India relies on kerosene for domestic lighting. Currently 44 percent of households depend on kerosene as a primary fuel for meeting lighting requirements, which translates to around 85 million households. Furthermore, electrified households in rural areas also use kerosene as a back-up fuel because of erratic electricity supply. Approximately 54 percent of the total country demand for kerosene is in four states alone, Uttar Pradesh, with 21 percent, followed by Bihar with 15 percent then West Bengal and Orissa. Official statistics show that kerosene is the only source of lighting for about 89 percent of the rural households in Bihar.
LED Lights could be a solution!
There are millions of school-going children living in semi-urban and rural areas, who don’t have access to a clean and safe light which can help them study after dark. Most of these children have to depend on kerosene or oil based lamps which form soot and emit toxic fumes and smoke which causes health problems like irritation in the eyes, severe respiratory illness, and are potentially dangerous as they can cause fire accidents and burn injuries.
India has more than 120 million school going children of which 70 percent are dependent on oil for study after sunset.
Author: Saurabh H. Mehta, RESET India
firstname.lastname@example.org Currently an ICICI Fellow Designate, working at Aga Khan Development Network(India) - Bihar