Let There Be Light – Stories of innovation from rural UP and Bihar

Aman Ali from Banaras
Aman Ali from Banaras

Banaras District, Uttar Pradesh. “When I grow up, I want to make big battery chargers so that every household has access to electricity.” In Banaras’ Kashi Vidyapeeth block, 12-year old Aman Ali lives in Lohta village. Picking up raw materials from a nearby shop and some from a heap of garbage, Aman can fashion a simple battery charger which, if charged for 2 hours, can be a source of light for 6 hours.

To make this, Aman uses plastic plates or a cardboard box, small bulbs (like the ones used in chandeliers) and unused normal AA batteries. He makes a hole in the box and fits the bulbs in these holes. All the wires from the bulbs are soldered to the batteries. This contraption can be charged for upto 2 hours (like a mobile phone) and then can have upto 14 small bulbs lit up for almost 6 hours without any external source of electricity.

Battery se bijliSitamarhi District, Bihar. In Sitamarhi’s Riga and Dumra blocks, Santosh Kumar, Bablu Kumar, Suraj and Sugandhi have found a way of generating electricity with used batteries. They remove the outer layer of a burnt out battery and put the battery in a vessel. The vessel is filled with a salt water solution and this is kept in the sunlight. A small bulb of low power is connected to these batteries and can stay lit almost through the night. This involves no expense and is also handy in saving kerosene, used in lanterns.

Banda District, Uttar Pradesh. In Banda’s Tindwari block Lavkush, Vinay and Babboo of Tara village use a mixture of cow dung and coal to generate electricity. In the district’s Mahua block, Vipin, a Class 9 student uses this contraption for light at night so he can study. Crushed coal and wet cow dung is mixed in a bowl. Using a wire, a battery placed in this mixture is connected to a bulb. Once the circuit is complete, the bulb lights up.


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