Mera Gao Power: A Social-Startup That Solves The Problem Of Electricity In Rural India
Where ?development? has become the vision of the nation, India?s remote villages are still far from the basic needs of life. As you will move from the cities towards the villages, you will find that electricity, safe and clean water, proper roads and transport connectivity are a rare luxury. In such times when India?s Chandrayan is set to conduct research expeditions on the moon?s surface, children from India?s villages, who can possibly be tomorrow's space researchers, can barely read or write in the dark due to absence of electricity.
One startup that aims to tackle the root of this problem by ensuring that electricity reaches every household in rural villages is Mera Gaon Power. They aim at bringing electricity to even the remote corners of India with a technology that is clean, eco-friendly and cost-effective. Because development cannot happen in the dark!
The founders Nikhil Jaisinghani, ex- USAID, had lived in rural Nepal as part of a volunteering stint with the Peace Corps. He observed that similar to rural Indian?s they too survive on kerosene lamps for nighttime lighting, a polluting and costly source of light is still less costlier than the light provided by electricity service providers.
He teamed up with Brian Shaad, a London School of Economics postgraduate, to set up low-cost microgrids that help generate solar electricity. Being a clean source of renewable energy, this technology is also cheap as 1 microgrid helps around 50 households to get night lighting. The cost for 1 household would be Rs.30 a week for lights and charging mobiles or other types of equipment.
This technology will help tackle the problem of cost spent on electricity, light for children to be able to study at night; people can use mobile phones that will keep them connected to the world and give them access to information.
Today, MGP has been able to give power to over 1.25 lakh people across 22,000 homes of 1,500 villages of Uttar Pradesh. This model can give power to over 1.37 billion rural Indians too if it gets penetration in the rest of rural India.