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Two women from Jharkhand to light up villages using solar light

Two tribal women from Jharkhand on the mission to electrify their villages with a zeal to change their lives and electrify their villages, two women from Jodhpur, a village in Gandey block in Giridih district of Jharkhand, have come to Rajasthan to get trained in solar equipment. For the past five months, the duo has been learning the intricacies of solar equipment, GAIL (India) Limited is sponsoring their training. They are learning to make solar torches, solar bulbs, e-home lighting systems and also learning repair & maintenance of them at Barefoot College International (BCI), headquarters at Harmada village in Kishangarh tehsil in Rajasthan.

One of the women is a single mother who is the breadwinner of her family, 35-year-old Manjali has been selling country liquor for years to feed her family. However, she wasn't happy with the work that she did and wanted to do something respectable in society so, when this opportunity of learning solar equipment came, she grabbed it with open arms and this is how her journey started.

“I am not educated, but I always wanted to learn something new that could change my life and give me direction so that people would look up to me. When this opportunity of learning how to make solar equipment came, I decided to learn this skill and here I am giving my heart and soul to this training.”

Talking about her family, she said there is no source of income and her only means is selling country liquor, but from inside she never wanted to take up this profession, “I have a daughter who goes to school and I have no choice but to earn through whatever means I have.”

Manjali has been at Barefoot College International campus for over four months now and on February 1 she will graduate, talking about what she has learned, she said, “I can make diva lantern, bindi torchlight, devi torchlight. After completing this training, I have planned to electrify at least 50 households in my village and then after would continue with my work.”

Sharing the same thoughts, 20-year-old Anjali Murmu who is pursuing her graduation said that coming out of the confinements of her home and learning this skill has been a lifetime experience for her, “I will be taking this up as my profession and would contribute to my joint family. My husband is studying and preparing for competitive exams, I will support him to pursue his education as well.”

She noted that she comes from a family where women are given equal respect and their voices are being heard, “While I was taking up this opportunity of learning solar equipment, my family supported and helped me gather the courage to come so far. Besides, my neighbours and villagers are so proud of me and are eagerly waiting for me to return and fulfil their dream of having a village of uninterrupted electricity.

Talking about the training she said that this training has made her self-sufficient and now she feels empowered and ready to face the world with the newly learnt skill, “Currently my husband isn’t earning and now that I have learnt this new skill, I would use it and would become the breadwinner of my family. I would also support my husband who is going to prepare for a competitive exam.”

She ended her discussion with a message to women like her, “Women must once in life try to step out from the confinement of their homes and explore the world outside, I agree that it is scary to take that first, step, but believe me when you do that life changes and you experience something that you would have never thought of.”

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