Sunshine Story: IIT workshop helps slum kids see things in new light

During a workshop at the IIT campus, 78 schoolkids – including some from the neighbouring slum dwellings – learnt to make solar lamps to assist in their studies

sunshine  At a time when so many children from rural and slum areas in the state struggle to find enough light to study, a workshop at the IIT campus showed 78 kids how to build their own solar study lamps so they can harness the sun’s limitless power.

The event was organised at the campus last week, and while quite a few of the children were from the campus staff quarters, 25 were from the neighbouring slum areas, and a few were students from Kendriya Vidyalaya in the IIT campus. All the participants were above the age of 10.

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During the workshop, 78 kids learnt how to make a solar study lamp and each one of them took a finished piece home afterwards. Pic/Prashant Waydande

“Our country can use solar energy in abundance but sadly this isn’t the case. The idea was to show students how natural sources of light and energy are easy to make as well as use,” said Ganesh Bhorkhade, general secretary of the Staff Club, IIT-B.

With the concept in place, a company from Hyderabad was invited to the campus to demonstrate the process of putting together the study lamp, and explain the usage. “Representatives from this Hyderabad-based company were present at the workshop and all participants were given the raw material and helped to put together the lamp from scratch,” added Bhorkhade.

All the kids left the workshop with their very own lamp, and another 40 lamps were distributed at slum dwellings near the institute.

“Since the raw material was provided to us in bulk, each lamp cost around Rs 350. All children were very happy with their new creation and have promised us that they will inform more people about it in their neighbourhood,” Bhorkhade said.

Parag Desai , a 13-year-old campus redsident who participated in this workshop, said, “We’ve studied about solar energy for years in school but to actually build a solar lamp and use it is more fun. I’ll give a presentation on this in school for my classmates.”

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