Let there be light

DC | NEHA JHA
Published Nov 6, 2014, 4:53 am IST
Updated Mar 30, 2019, 4:26 pm IST
How the members of My shelter Foundation India re lighting up the city
Volunteers of change: (From left, back row) Padma and Anil with volunteers; (Middle row) Srujana, Chaitanya, Hari, Pradeep, Maniteja and Prinay; (Front row) Amar, Sai Sharan, Karthik, Preetam and Santosh. (Photo: DC)
 Volunteers of change: (From left, back row) Padma and Anil with volunteers; (Middle row) Srujana, Chaitanya, Hari, Pradeep, Maniteja and Prinay; (Front row) Amar, Sai Sharan, Karthik, Preetam and Santosh. (Photo: DC)
Hyderabad: Just behind the plush apartments of Karkhana there’s a slum that has been waiting for electricity for the past 30 years. 
 
But giving them a ray of hope, as well as light is My Shelter Foundation India started by Pradeep Chanti, Srinivas Chaitanya and Ranjeet Gakhare, under the initiative “Liter of Light”, which was started by Illac Diaz in Philippines.
 
The group fixes a plastic bottle containing distilled water and bleach into holes made in the roof. The bottle bulbs refract the sun’s rays to create 55 watts of light. Explaining how it works, Srinivas Chaitanya says, “We put one-fourth of the bottle above the roof and three-fourth is below the roof. The sunlight hits the top of the bottle and changes direction into the house because of varying densities between air and water. The light spreads in 360 degrees and is equivalent to a 55 W bulb.”
 
Taking the project a step forward, the founders of MSFI invented a light that would work at night as well, for which they use a Solar PV panel, two batteries, an LED bulb and a circuit, where the panel recharges the battery, which in turn gives power to the LED bulb. The cost of producing one solar bottle bulb is Rs 400, which will last for five years. Pradeep Chanti says, “We have been working on this project for the past three years and have installed it in around 15 cities in India till date.” 
 
Around 25 student volunteers got together to install lights in the Mudfort slum in Karkhana. And the happiness on the faces that were seeing a light in their house for the first time was incredible. “My daughters had to complete their homework before sunset. We used the same lamp to cook, eat, study, manage my kirana shop etc.”, says Rama Krishna, a resident.
 
“We will be lighting an entire village near Nagarjunasagar and we are also in talks with the NTR Trust for a state-wide expansion in Andhra Pradesh,” says Chaitanya.
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