Some 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity around the world. In Pakistan; approximately 40 percent of the population is still deprived of electricity. This underprivileged section depends on alternative sources of light, which often varies from inconvenient candle light to hazardous kerosene lamps.
Kerosene lamps do not only produce insufficient light but also emit harmful fumes. These lamps are one of the major causes behind frequent burn and fire accidents as well.
Two students at Stanford University’s Institute of Design, Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun, have created an affordable and portable solar rechargeable LED lamps known as ‘ Design for extreme affordability’. Both worked together to find possible alternatives to light sources. They decided to closely analyse the challenges and went to Southeast Asia. After examining the money villagers spend on expensive kerosene lamps, which are a major cause behind gruesome burn accidents, both Sam and Ned decided to replace kerosene lamps with affordable alternative solutions. Their rough models of LED lamps became immensely popular in the village they visited. This pushed them to launch their product on a larger scale and to the creation of their company named d. light.
Studies reveal that individuals who previously spent 10 percent of their income on the dangerous kerosene lamps can increase their household income by 30 percent after switching to d. light. The reliable source of light also increases productivity, as both students and craftsmen can spend more hours doing their work. The bright light of d. light has the ability to improve memory retention, proving highly beneficial for students. proving a blessing for almost 1.1 million individuals. After selling over 220,000 solar lamps in 32 countries, d. light has now stepped into Pakistan, to reduce the use of lanterns. The solar lamps are available in areas with little or no access to electricity.
The innovative lights are being used in the US and Japan at relief camps. The US has provided Pakistan with thousands of the solar lanterns, following the disastrous floods in 2011.
The S1, S10 and S250 are capable of providing four, eight and even one hundred hours of light ( if used at the lowest setting), respectively. Prices vary as S1 is available for Rs. 1,200 and S10 sells at Rs. 2,000. S250 allows cell phone charging and is slightly expensive at Rs. 4,000.
The solar lanterns distributed to the flood relief camps helped in changing the mind- set of people living in the rural areas to a certain extent. However, apart from the distribution process, spreading awareness regarding the actual worth of using d. light products instead of kerosene lanterns still remains a challenging task. Regular donations of solar lanterns to various communities which are off the electrical grid will help in establishing d. light products as an alternative and reliable source of light.
After surveying the impoverished areas of Africa with little or no access to electricity, a bunch of Harvard University students have also come up with the innovative idea of converting kinetic energy into electrical energy. The idea was also well packaged, especially considering local needs and the soccer culture in Africa, and they developed the ‘ S0cket soccer ball’. The soccer ball serves as an eco- friendly portable generator that transforms kinetic energy produced during play into stored electrical energy. Merely 10 minutes of play time is enough to provide 3 hours of energy. The ball currently costs around $ 60-$ 75. The Harvard team is working on a product that will be more affordable. Once they achieve their objective, the s0cket soccer ball would hopefully be launched in other developing countries including Pakistan.
The company was highly successful in India, China and Tanzania,