The LaBL Campaign is based on an entrepreneurial model of energy service delivery, which has been developed by TERI and successfully tested in pilot projects across Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Uttarakhand, India. Through this model, institutional mechanisms are created for the delivery of energy services in remote villages. These services are meant not only for household use, but also for small enterprises such as shops, local bazaars, tuition and coaching centers, and various other cottage industries. The model is designed to benefit both the user and the supplier of services. For instance, rural entrepreneurs can be trained to manage and run a central solar lantern charging/distribution center where lanterns are charged during the day and rented in the evening. While this creates financial opportunities for the entrepreneurs, the user of the lantern does not have to bear the burden of purchasing and maintaining it.
Apart from providing reliable lighting to households at an affordable rate, this model also facilitates entrepreneurial development among rural communities. The solar charging platform can, for example, also provide other services such as telecommunication services, purification of potable water, mobile telephone charging, and more.
TERI facilitates the establishment of these centers in association with its grassroots level partners by installing the hardware; identifying, training, and providing initial support to prospective rural entrepreneurs; creating awareness among communities about the use and upkeep of lanterns; and developing livelihood activities through access to lighting. The entrepreneur, in addition to providing the facility for setting up the center, also contributes equity in cash and pays for the training associated with the solar power platform and solar lanterns. TERI has started two such centers, managed by women that are operational in different islands in the Sunderbans delta in the state of West Bengal, India.
TERI has identified four villages in Kakdwip Block of South 24 Paraganas district in West Bengal to initiate the LaML Campaign. It is in the process of identifying villages in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Chattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh to spread the Campaign.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
1. Increased number of households illuminated with solar lanterns
2. Increased number of people using solar torches
3. Increased number of entrepreneurs being set-up in rural areas
4. Increased number of sponsors committed to support the LaML Campaign
5. Decreased number of kerosene lanterns (and other polluting devices)
0ver 78 million households (or roughly 390 million lives) in India lack access to electricity, causing life to come to a standstill after dusk. Inadequate lighting is not only an impediment to progress and development opportunities, but also has a direct impact on the health, environment, and safety of millions of villagers as they are forced to light their homes with kerosene lamps, dung cakes, firewood, and crop residue after sunset.
Recognizing the need to change the existing scenario in rural India, TERI, whose vision is to work for global sustainable development and its commitment towards creating innovative solutions for a better tomorrow, has decided to commit to launch the 'Lighting a Million Lives' (LaML) Campaign in rural India through the use of solar lighting devices. In 2009, TERI pledged to increase its commitment to 'Lighting a Billion Lives' (LaBL) throughout the world.
LaBL continuously seeks to expand partnerships with governments, private/public companies, foundations, civil societies, both nationally and internationally. The purpose is to enhance knowledge sharing and widen the scope and implementation of the LaBL model.
LaBL seeks partnerships with players who exhibit track records in manufacturing and installation of solar lighting solutions. LaBL also seeks financial resources from foundations, international corporates, high net worth individuals etc., to enhance the work of extending clean lighting to rural areas across India, South Asia and Africa and address the challenge of energy access in BoP communities.
LaBL also developed a strong learning curve in promotion and implementation of decentralised solar energy projects and technology development in the solar lighting sector. LaBL can share its knowledge and offertechnical support to likeminded organisations, across regions that look to advance their energy access agenda. LaBL will also share best practises information through the CGI platform.