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    Bringing light to Odisha

     

    March 31, 2020

     

    In western Odisha, the delivery of 800 solar lanterns and sanitation facilities unlocks opportunities for locals
     

    The Swachh Bharat Mission selected eight villages in the eastern part of the Indian state of Odisha to have safe sanitation systems installed. Financial Inclusion Improves Sanitation & Health (FINISH) Society, a well-known NGO involved in sanitation, hygiene and solid liquid waste management practices in India, provided technical assistance to build over 800 toilets and bathrooms and provide piped water.

    In order to make it a sustainable practice, water pipelines and overhead water tanks have also been erected to link the households, toilets and kitchens.

    From interviews with villagers it came out how only one village, Badagarh, gets power supply directly from the Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OGPC), while the remaining seven are served by the less reliable Odisha State Electricity Board (OSEB).

    Once the sun sets, due to low-voltage power supply, bulbs and other appliances stop working. All seven villages are forced to depend on an unstable power supply, meaning that villagers can go without light for three to four hours a day.

    Due to an unstable power supply, villagers can go without light for three to four hours a day"

    Signify Foundation stepped in and provided 800 solar lights, allowing the villagers to safely use the new toilets at night. But that wasn’t the only circumstance in which the lights proved useful. In fact, the solar lights became a key light source for the beneficiaries.
    Odisha 2

    A farming family sees the light


    Ahilya Pradhan, a housewife and farmer, has been using the toilet and solar light for over three months and sees enormous benefits from it, including time saving and improved health.

    For Ahilya and her family, visits to the doctor have reduced significantly. And the dangers that lurk in the forest area where they used to go for their personal needs are now a vestige of the past, thanks to the solar light. Moreover, the light allows her children to study without being interrupted by power outages.
     

    Initially, Ahilya’s husband Suresh was opposed to the construction because he had sold his agricultural land to the OPGC to provide for the marriage of his four daughters.
     

    The family found itself without the wherewithal to buy construction material to build a bathroom, until FINISH Society, OPGC, and Signify Foundation stepped in, changing their lives.

    The family found itself without the wherewithal to buy construction material to build a bathroom, until FINISH Society, OPGC, and Signify Foundation stepped in, changing their lives"

    Odisha 1

    Studying for the future


    Rajendra Sa, who comes from a poor family of farmers, is happy to see his two daughters now able to study after the sun goes down. The solar lights are not only a key to unlocking their education, they also enable toilet usage at night, and aid in cooking when the voltage is low or erratic. The solar light has become a beacon of change in the community.

    The solar light has become a beacon of change in the community"

    Between the improved sanitation facilities and the lighting after dark, these villages in Odisha are experiencing a marked increase in the quality of life. “Now, we also get regular daily wage work in the nearby power plant” says Supraso with a smile.

    About the author:

    Chander Mahadev

    Chander Mahadev

     

    Media Consultant, FINISH Society, Signify partner

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    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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