According to reports, all the 45 hutments in the sleepy little village of Nalwas in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat will be lit up thanks to the ‘Jyotirgamaya’ project of Grand Lodge of India (GLI), an association of freemasons. As a part of its golden jubilee celebrations, GLI has taken up the initiative to light up 50 villages across remote areas in the country that do not have access to electricity till date.
“Work is nearing completion in 26 villages. We have already completed work in seven villages spread across Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra. We are targeting to complete the electrification work in all the 50 villages by end of October”, said B Biswakumar, grand master, GLI adding that it was actually a difficult task to identify this village in Gujarat, a state which has close to 100 per cent rural electrification. GLI is in the process of identifying a second such village in the state.
The cost of electrifying one village ranges from Rs 3-6 lakh depending on the number of houses. Nalwas has been electrified at a cost of Rs 3.5 lakh. The entire project cost is estimated to be around Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 crore, which will be funded entirely by GLI. It has close to 20,000 members across the country, and the headcount is growing at a steady 10 per cent per annum.
GLI is installing solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and LED lamps together with charger and storage batteries at the village. If these modules are charged through the day, the batteries can store and hence provide six to seven hours of electricity after sunset. “This potentially could change the lives of the 250 people in the village, whose lives virtually go dark after sunset now. “, Biswakumar said.