Microfinance help bring solar lights to rural West Bengal

Microfinance Focus, November 7, 2011: Milaap, an online microlending social enterprise, partners ONergy, a renewable energy venture, to launch a microfinance project that brings solar lights to rural households in West Bengal, India. This project will offer low cost loans to rural households to afford solar light that is a cleaner and safer alternative to the traditional kerosene lamps.

Milaap will be working with ONergy to promote solar lights within the villages, disburse the loans, train them in financial management and ensure the sustainability of the project. They will collect orders from villagers, install solar lights and get repaid over 18 months. ONergy will supply the solar lights and train the rural entrepreneurs in customer education, battery replacement and sales and demand generation.

In West Bengal, majority of the people come from socially excluded communities, with 84% of the people earning less that Rs 3000 per month. Hence, they will not be able to afford a Rs 10,000 solar light upfront. According to Milaap, the project aims to reduce monthly family expenditure on lighting by 50 per cent, increase family incomes by 20-30 per cent and empower local partners to promote sustainable and clean energy for the poor and excluded communities.

This project will begin on November 10, starting in South 24 Parganas with the aim of reaching 500 households by March 2012. The overall goal of the project is to bring solar lights to more than 1500 rural households in West Bengal, India during its first year of partnership. In South 24 Parganas, almost 40 per cent of the households have no access to electricity.

A survey conducted at beginning of the project revealed that that a family spends an average of Rs 4000 per month on their kerosene, health, food, education, transport, and other needs. Kerosene lamps are cheap to buy, but they expensive to run.

Anoj Viswanathan, Co-founder and President of Milaap said, “ Linking up with ONergy is the key to growing Milaap’s work in providing essential services to the working poor through low cost loans in India. Safe lighting through solar technology solutions is the first step towards comprehensive, decentralized renewable energy approach that can not only meet household energy needs but also support small-scale enterprises in the area creating jobs, income, and impact beyond the benefits of lighting. This is a fantastic opportunity to solve two huge problems— reduce poverty and combat climate change in a holistic way".


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microfinance for solar light

Dear Sir
we have urgent required for microfinance of all type solar light in rural areas.
Thanks & Regards
Avanish Kumar

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