In an attempt to increase attendance of students at schools, a foundation, in association with private companies, has been distributing solar lamps to each student of a particular class.
Ron-based S R Patil Foundation has launched a pilot scheme, said to be the first-of-its-kind in the state, in Savadi and Dambal villages of Gadag district. Foundation president and former MLA G S Patil told Express that the Foundation has intentions of addressing load-shedding problems and making students attend schools compulsorily.
"As lamps need to be charged in a panel containing 25 switches, students have to come to schools for recharging lamps and thus attendance will improve," he explained.
He also said that 392 lamps were given to Class 5 students of government schools in both villages on November 6. There are three schools in Savadi and four in Dambal.
"These lamps have LED bulbs of 1.5 volts. Though we are providing lamps worth Rs 1,800 for study, they can be used for other household works as well," he said.
Another mentor of the Foundation and former chief secretary of the state government B S Patil said that the necessity of such lamps was found during a survey conducted in 85 villages of the Ron Assembly segment.
"Many students and parents expressed their helplessness in overcoming the electricity problem and this was a big hurdle for them to educate their children," he said.
He said that he observed many companies were thinking of serving rural children as part of their Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) programme.
"The RMZ Corporation, a real estate company in Bangalore, came forward to share 50 per cent of the cost for the project titled 'Light for Education' and we also received support from other companies like Weir India, JSW and AMR India Ltd. Our foundation will share the cost of maintenance and monitoring which will be approximately Rs 200 per lamp a year," the former chief secretary explained.
The foundation intends to provide 4,500 lamps to government school students by December.