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    Lighting up Badminton Courts in India with SRF Foundation


    April 9, 2020

     

    13-year-old Unjila’s badminton practice used to end as soon as the sun set, now she can develop her racket skills well into the evening hours

     

    As the sun sets on the horizon, 13-year-old Unjila enthusiastically walks back towards her school playground along with her classmates. But this time she’s wearing her sports jersey instead of her school uniform.
     

    After a long day at school, she’s looking forward to her evening badminton lessons at the school playground. And, after having won the district-level competition, her coaches are confident that she’ll secure a leading position at the upcoming state-level championship.

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    The story of Unjila


    Unjila is a 9th grade student at the Government Senior Secondary School Kanwarsika in the Nuh District (Mewat) of Haryana. Nuh lies 57 km away from Gurugram, a financial and industrial hub in southern Haryana, a three-hour drive from the national capital.


    Gurugram has the third-highest per capita income in India. Nuh, on the other hand, is regarded as the most backward district in India owing to its poor performance on basic development indicators such as health, education, agriculture, financial inclusion, skill development, and basic infrastructure. The contrast between the two towns couldn’t be starker. 

    The conservative mindset of the local population presents a major challenge for young girls like Unjila to receive good quality education and future opportunities"

    Around 79% of Nuh’s population is Muslim, many of them Meo-Muslims – a minority community that follows parts of both Islamic and Hindu customs. The conservative mindset of the local population presents a major challenge for young girls like Unjila to receive good quality education and future opportunities.
     

    This is further compounded by financial constraints at home, thereby resulting in a very high rate of school dropouts, especially among Muslim girls. All these factors contribute to a skewed female literacy rate (33.7%) in the region.

    The long-term social benefits of solar lighting


    Our NGO partner SRF Foundation is committed to providing these young and talented girls an opportunity to play sports even after dark by illuminating their playgrounds with solar-powered lighting.
     

    By enabling them to play competitive sports on a regular basis, the program enhances not just their sporting skills but also their self-confidence, over the long term.

    By enabling them to play competitive sports on a regular basis, the program enhances not just their sporting skills but also their self-confidence, over the long term."

    Before this program was initiated, the player’s practice hours were restricted to their daytime lunch breaks, due to lack of proper lighting infrastructure in their playground.
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    Our program ‘Khel Jyoti’ illuminates the badminton court using high-mast LED lighting. These lights are powered by a solar system that offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to overcome the region’s frequent power supply shortages.
     

    As a direct outcome, the project has expanded the student’s daily practice time by two hours, enabling them to improve their skills significantly. This is reflected in the increased number of players now qualifying for district and state-level competitions, thanks to their newly lit badminton courts. 

    Five badminton courts have been illuminated in the region, benefiting more than 1,200 school children."

    In the first phase of the project we lit five badminton courts, benefitting more than 1,200 school children. In the next phase, the project will expand to 18 more playgrounds, potentially benefiting 5,000 more students in the same district.
    Unjila's hard work

    It’s inspiring to see that Unjila’s hard work and dedication is already paying off, helping her secure the 3rd position in the recent district-level badminton championship, earning qualification for the state-level championship.
     

    She’s seen as a role model for others in her area, carving new paths and opportunities for herself and other girls, helping them dream about a brighter future!

    About the author:

    Natasha Tandon

    Natasha Tandon

     

    Integrated Communications and CSR Signify India 

    For further information, please contact:

    Head of Corporate Content, Signify
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17
    Email: neil.pattie@signify.com

    About Signify

     

    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2019 sales of EUR 6.2 billion, we have approximately 32,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been named Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for three years in a row. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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