Hyderabad: India is the world’s third-largest producer and consumer of electricity. Yet, millions of people continue to remain in the dark. Troubled by this, Anvitha Kollipara, a 14-year-old Hyderabad girl, decided to light up the lives of people in the remotest pockets of the country.
In October, she started an initiative, Solar Good Project, under which she travels to remote villages and conducts workshops for children there. She teaches them about solar power and gives them solar lamp-making kits.
The ninth-grader says, “From a young age, I used to visit my grandparents’ house in a village and would look at people struggling due to frequent power cuts and children not being able to study. So, I started learning more about solar power and eventually got underway with Solar Good to be able to provide them with continuous electricity.”
Anvitha identifies villages based on their needs for electrification and visits the area. She educates children on preparing solar lamps by themselves. “Solar power is so inexpensive compared to normal electricity, and it helps the world that is already struggling with climate change and global warming. My idea is to provide the underprivileged people with a safe alternative,” she says.
Anvitha took a course on solar power from Energy Swaraj Foundation and also acquired knowledge on it from Srinivas, who conducts online workshops on solar panels.
So far, she has conducted around 11 workshops with the recent one being in Vattinagulapally village in Rajendranagar mandal and could reach almost 500 students. She also held an online workshop with participants from all over India.
Apart from workshops, she tries to be in touch with the students and says, “I try to receive feedback from time to time and a lot of them say it helped them tremendously. Many are also coming forward to volunteer.”
Currently, she is in talks with the Foundation for Children in Need that runs a school where students come from the city outskirts.
“Through these workshops, I have gained access to so many children. Apart from educating them on solar power, I’m training them in debating and public speaking. Also, some of my friends are trying to pass on their knowledge to these children,” she says.
Reaching out to elderly
Besides this, Anvitha is also taking a holistic approach to shaping the lives of many children and at the same time providing the warmth of family to senior citizens through her outreach programme CareGood. Through this project, the teenager is connecting children from these villages with senior citizens from old-age homes. The children spend time with these elders and learn essential values. She also supplies medicines and medical supplies to the elderly at different old-age homes.
Anvitha has initiated a crowdfunding campaign with Milaap to conduct more workshops. Through these programmes, she is aiming to transform the lives of children who are not as fortunate as her and give them a good learning experience. “I believe that educating children is the solution for a better tomorrow,” she adds.
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