Extending the day with solar streetlights


    June 01, 2020


    Narotoli, India – solar street lighting with Smart Power India to make a significant improvement in the quality of life, economy, and safety of villagers.

    Narotoli is a small tribal village in Gumla District of Jharkhand, home to approximately one hundred households. In 2016, the village experienced electricity and lighting for the first time through MLINDA mini-grids under the Smart Power Rural Development Program supported by Rockefeller Foundation.

    Narotoli observed changes in their lifestyle through a reliable power supply to their households, agriculture, and micro-enterprises. However, Som Khadiya, the village head of Narotoli continued to look for opportunities to address other unmet lighting needs.

    Every Sunday, Som would invite villagers to a community center to discuss their ideas for the village’s development. Street lighting surfaced as a priority for many of the women.

    Women and children felt unsafe to venture outside after dark as there was no outdoor lighting. Furthermore, a lack of exterior lighting essentially ended residents’ productive day at sunset. Villagers also highlighted the threat of encountering wild animals in the village during dark evenings, as Narotoli is very close to the forest.

    With much effort by Som, Narotoli village was granted two streetlights from the government. Unfortunately, these required constant maintenance and repair.

    The need for outdoor lighting was brought to the attention of Brajesh, who oversees the mini-grids providing solar power to businesses and households in the village. Brajesh and his colleagues, in turn, conveyed this need to the Smart Power India team who created a larger program to provide 81 villages with street lighting, funded by Signify Foundation as part of their partnership.

     A special meeting was called by Som to inform the villagers that the streetlights would be supported with maintenance by the MLINDA team for the next five years.

    During the meeting, a group of villagers was selected to work with the MLINDA team to select the installation sites for the streetlights. They decided, in consultation with the wider community, to light major junctions, the village entrance, community centers such as the church, and the children’s playing area.

    The villagers were very excited about their involvement in this project and everyone felt connected to the mission.

    Women are now able to visit their neighbors or nearby poultry farms without any safety concerns."

    With just three days of installation work, the entire village was illuminated with street lighting. Som conveyed a big thank you to the installation team: “Jab se street light aaya hai, mera gaon chakachak ho gayaa hai” (My village looks nice and illuminated with the installation of streetlight).
    Extending the day with solar streetlights-1
    Charli Khadiya, a local woman, stated that the street lighting has enabled her to go out more and send her children off without fear in the evenings. She can now also happily visit the nearby poultry farm or invite her relatives to come and enjoy late-night dancing under the streetlight!
    Extending the day with solar streetlights-2

    Aap log iss gaon ko andhakaar se Prakaash ke aur
    le gaye, iska sukriya humlog kaise karenge (You took our village from darkness to light, how we can thank you for this?)"

    I attended a village meeting two months after the installation and was elated by the impact of the street lighting in this remote village. I told them that we are replicating the same story in 80 different villages with support from Signify Foundation and impacting at least 10,000 households through enabling safety and security above all for women, children, and the elderly.

    I still recall the statement of a local village teacher thanking us: “Aap log iss gaon ko andhakaar se Prakaash ke aur le gaye, iska sukriya humlog kaise karenge” (You took our village from darkness to light, how we can thank you for this?)

    About the author:

    Satya Prakash Choubey

    Satya Prakash Choubey


    Associate Director- Program Implementation

    Smart Power India

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    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 38,000 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.

    Street Lighting-Smart-iot

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