Partner Spotlight: A Year of Success in India

A monk at the Lingshed Monastery wires a light fixture. CREDIT: Paula Bronstein

The IEEE Smart Village team is hard at work preparing for a busy year ahead. In 2017, IEEE Smart Village volunteers will build on last year’s successes and continue to support our on-the-ground partners on electrification projects that bring education, jobs and more to communities around the world.

You’ve likely seen, here in this newsletter and on social media, moving photographs of ancient monasteries alight for the first time. Those images are inspiring — but the hard numbers quantifying our impact are just as compelling.

In projects across India, for example, we worked in tandem with Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) to install a total of 65 solar grids, which directly impacted over 2,200 people. We brought light after dark to over 200 individual houses, enabling all the benefits of power, including education and improved villagers’ means to make a living. Our goal is to improve the lives of 50 million people by 2025 — and as this small window in time from a small segment.

The numbers are impressive, but the true ISV impact is far greater than the number of houses and rooms we are electrifying. Education is a core aspect of our mission, and we are particularly inspired by our work to establish community learning hotspots — called Himalayan Innovation Centers in this region — that enable access to resources such as Wikipedia, Kahn Academy, and other tools that harness new and exciting educational opportunities. Our work with GHE in the region of Ladakh was so well received by local officials that they offered to open four additional centers in border villages. These will be the first of its kind to run solely on DC technology and low-power computing devices.

Paras Loomba of GHE talks with monks along a trail near the Lingshed Monastery. CREDIT: Paula Bronstein

We’re proud of our fruitful partnership with GHE and are excited to continue our important work together in 2017.