As part of the upcoming 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and ongoing diamond jubilee of IIT-Bombay, a whopping 100,000 students from 100 schools across India will assemble solar lamps on October 2, an official said here on Friday. The workshop, under the IIT-B’s Solar Urja through Localisation for Sustainability (SoULS) programme, is billed as the largest such initiative which could qualify for a Guinness World Record entry.
On October 2, 5000 students or Student Solar Ambassadors, shall gather at IIT-B to assemble solar lamps to help promote solar energy for sustainable future on Earth. Simultaneously, 100,000 students in 100 schools around India will also take part in assembling solar lamps that day which they will take home to fulfill their own study light needs, (Prof.) Chetan Singh Solanki of IIT-B’s Department of Energy Science & Engineering told media persons here this evening.
The solar lamp kits, costing Rs 500 each, will be provided to all the participating students at Rs 100 each, as part of a Ministry of New and Renewable Energy programme. The SoULS has already conducted several training programs to train men and women especially in rural areas to assemble, service and sell solar lamps.
Giving the background, Solanki said that amidst growing challenges of climate change and rising global temperatures, the world has to move towards adopting 100 per cent renewable energies to limit the the average increase in global temperature by 2 degrees Celsius. With India’s pledge to the Paris Climate Agreement of reducing carbon emission by 30-35 per cent of 2005 levels, it has committee to mitigating climate degradation with installation of 100GW of renewable energy by 2022.
India has a vast potential in terms of solar insolation – 4-7 KWh per square metre per day for over 325 days in a year which can be utilized to fulfill nearly all domestic energy requirements and reduce dependency on fossil fuels, he pointed out. Therefore, Solanki urged the need to sensitive the 280 million students in the country on importance of solar energy, its usage and contribution towards a greener future.
Under the SoULS program, the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti has included solar lamp assembly as part of its curriculum. Now, the objective of the October 2 workshop is to encourage all education boards including CBSE and State Education Boards to include hands-on training of solar lamps for all students in their curricula, said Solanki. The IIT-B has launched a website, http://www.solarstudents.org for schools to register themselves for the workshop.