According to reports, solar power has come to the rescue of terrorised womenfolk in Kamduni village on the outskirts of Kolkata who had stopped going out of their houses after dusk after a 20-year-old girl was brutally gangraped and killed.
Begun as a mission to provide safety and security to poor women living in areas with little or no streetlights, the Green Tara Social Initiative has now started empowering women including rape victims and their families with solar panels.
“Streets become more vulnerable when there is darkness so we are trying to wipe off all the dark corners using safe and clean energy,” woman rights activist Santasree Chaudhuri said.
Along with her partner and social entrepreneur Vineeta Sharma, she has distributed solar lanterns in Kamduni village so that women feel safe to move around after sunset when the streets go under a spell of darkness. With corporate sponsorship, they plan to extend help to other rape victims and their families in the state.
Raising a huge public outcry, a girl was brutally gangraped and murdered at Kamduni in Barasat area of North 24 Parganas district on June 7 when she was returning home after college. Her body was found the next morning.
Barnali Ghosh, 25, who lives near the house of the victim, says the incident has left a deep scar on their minds as they never feel safe while going out of their houses to relieve them or fetch water from the nearby water pump. “Solar lanterns will be useful for us when we go early in the morning or late in the night,” she points out.Chaudhuri says this is a step towards empowering women, educating them and energising their lives.
“Besides it also has a spiritual message as we are trying to remove darkness from the lives of people who are living under terror. Illumination affects the mind,” says the activist. The trust is also trying to install a streetlight near the victim’s house.