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SOURCE: Medium

Unable to study after sunset, these children under perform in their class and drop out of school.

To address this issue, Anusheela Saha came up with an interesting idea?—?using the school bag to also become a study lamp!

Here’s our brief interview with Anusheela Saha:

What was your thought process behind coming up with this design?

Most of Delhi’s slums have no access to electricity and the frequent power cuts ensure that the children do their homework or studies either under candle light or kerosene lamps. The flickering light not only make it difficult for them to study but eventually lead to them losing interest in studies and even dropping out of schools.

I felt very strongly about this problem and believed there was a simple and sustainable way to tackle it. I conceptualized the idea in a school bag?—?with solar panels and LED lights. These bags could act as school bags during the day and become a study lamp at night, with a simple turn of a flap?—?providing the children with their very own source of light. The bags could get charged when the children walked to and from school and even at school?—?as most of them go to open schools. I approached Salaam Balak Trust with the idea. They are an NGO that has been working with the slum children in Delhi for the past 25 years. They loved the idea and agreed to partner with the cause.

Why not giving them solar LED lights, for instance, which can remain at home?

A solar LED light or lantern is meant for common use for an entire family. The intention with the Light Bag was to give the children their vey own study unit?—?meant only for them to use. They can take them out on summer night when they study on a ‘charpayi’ outside the house. Or even use it like a bed light if they want to read to bed. Something, that gives them a lot of pride to own and also induce interest in reading and studying.

How many students are currently using this bag?

Currently 30–40 children are using the bag. These had been funded by Cheil India. We have received contributions for hundreds more. We plan to reach out to all slum children in Delhi and even get into rural India.
How can our readers contribute to this cause?

Please get in touch with me at anusheela.saha[at]gmail.com if you desire to contribute towards these bags.

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