PRIP Gary Huang, while announcing the theme Light Up Rotary last year had said, “How you Light Up Rotary is up to you, as you know where you are strong, you know what your community needs, and you know how you can help.”
Taking this hint, IPDG Ganesh Bhat decided to light up the remote villages of his District 3170 spanning three states — North Karnataka, South Maharashtra and Goa. These villages lacked basic necessities like electricity, water and sanitation, and he drew up plans to install solar panels to light up villagers’ homes.
RC Corpus Christi, D-5930, USA, joined hands with D 3170 in this project and contributed $10,000. “Since the Foundation global grant didn’t materialise,
I approached the Menda Foundation of Bangalore for a matching fund and they came forward with a matching sum of $10,000,” explained Bhat. Orders were placed with SELCO — a solar panel manufacturing company and panels were installed in 180 houses in various villages.
At sunset these villages used to be engulfed in darkness, making both elders and the school going children alike to stay indoors and retiring early to bed. Now with the solar lamps lighting up the households, the villagers lengthen their work hours allowing more time for productivity and school children are able to concentrate on their homework.