Bengaluru-based NGO lights up Odia artisans’ homes

Happy Light Project Foundation has brought electricity to a poverty-stricken village in Odisha. They hope to work on a project in Karnataka soon.

Published: 16th July 2017 10:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2017 01:10 PM   |  A+A-

Founders of HLPF, Philip and Calvin.

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Bengaluru-based NGO, the Happy Light Project Foundation (HLPF), is lighting up the lives of residents of Gotiguda, a small village  in Odisha’s Raygada district. These villagers, who depend on Dokhra metal crafts for their livelihood, were living without electricity and were therefore unable to fashion enough products to make ends meet.

Villagers practising their metal craft at
Gotiguda in Odisha

Founded by Calvin Pinto, Philip Thomas and M Kishan, with backgrounds in commerce mostly, the NGO set up a crowdfunding project on October 15, 2016 to bring electricity to Gotiguda. Now, the NGO  has raised `7,61,455 from 401 supporters in a month, along with an additional Rs 30,000 as offline contributions. With this, they completed the project keeping the environment in mind, because they have relied on solar power only.

Speaking to City Express, Calvin, one of the three founders, says, “We’re happy to share that the village of Gotiguda is now completely electrified.”
But why this particular village, one may wonder. Calvin says, “After much research and talking to experts, we realised that Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan were states that were most in need of rural electrification. We zeroed in on Odisha because while there were several organisations working in other states, Odisha had largely gone unnoticed.”

He adds that with the help of their partner, Mahahshakti Foundation, HLPF shortlisted three villages in Odisha, visited each and spoke to  villagers. They finally selected Gotiguda because they felt that they could create the maximum, long-term impact there.

Apart from the Mahashakti Foundation, The Energy and Resources Insititute (TERI) was also involved in the project. “TERI mentored us through the entire project - from operations to system design. Their expertise in solar energy systems helped us,” says Calvin.
With little to no prior experience in the fields of alternative energy resources or social work, the founders say they spent a lot of time in study. They also have day jobs, which they did not neglect. “Balancing both our day jobs and the project has been challenging,” says Calvin.

“Philip works at a boutique investment bank, I work at a start-up and Kishan works in brand consulting, so long days at work are not uncommon. However, we were determined to see this project through. We made sure to spend an hour or two on the project each day either before or after office.”
Talking about future plans and projects, Calvin says, “We are exploring a micro-finance-based solar irrigation project next. However, we are still at the initial stages and are researching the space. Our main focus is still ensuring that the solar micro-grid in Gotiguda runs flawlessly.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.