Lighting India’s slums with solar bottle bulbs


As you can see in the above video,slums and shantytowns are dark even during the day. People staying in these dingy dwellings have to either use electric bulbs, that they might not be able to afford or stay in the dark. These solar bottle bulbs is turning out to be a life-changer for millions of people across the world.

The bottle bulb concept is the  brainchild of Alfredo Moser, who first used it in Brazil in 2002. Using the technology as a social enterprise was first launched in the Philippines by Illac Diaz under the MyShelter Foundation in April 2011. Since then the Liter of Light project,as it came to be known later, has spread to 16 countries, including India.

The invention is relatively simple. It involves filling up a 1.5L PET bottle with purified water and bleach and installing it onto the roof of a house. The water inside the bottle refracts the sunlight during the daytime and creates the same intensity as a 55 watt light bulb. With the correct installation and materials a solar bottle can last up to 5 years. As the light relies on the sun it cannot be used at night and is only meant to provide light to buildings and homes during daylight hours.

liter-of-lightIn India the first trial was done in Vikarabad, a rural village in Andhra Pradesh in 2011. This bulb was successfully installed and is still working. With this experience, the team gradually expanded the concept. With the generous help of several NGOs and various organizations, awareness, campaigns and workshops were conducted in various cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, etc.

Students at IIT Delhi have set out to light  up the lives of the poor this Diwali, using these solar bottle bulbs. Students associated with the National Service Scheme(NSS) at IITD  started the project in May this year. After research and training workshops to  prepare the bulbs, the team – comprising 10-15 core members, all of whom are  undergraduate students – sought guidance from My Shelter Foundation of India  which holds experience of installing similar devices in Mumbai.

The bulbs have already been installed in  Munirka and the team is now planning to tie up with other colleges to expand it  to different parts of the city.




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