SURKHET, July 19: It's been three years since an electricity pole was laid in front of the house of Nandakala Badi of Behriganga Municipality-8 in Surkhet district. She had completed wiring of her house long ago with the expectation of lighting her home with electric bulbs. But she has still not been able to light bulbs.
"It's been three years since the pole was erected there but still we were been able to use electrical appliances," she said, adding,"Even in this modern era, we were obliged to rely on oil lamps and lanterns for light."
Nandakala has four children. Her husband is currently in India in course of employment. Using solar power was not an alternative for her due to her poor economic condition.
However, her fortune has changed for good, after receiving solar lights. "Finally, my house will be lit even at night," she shared her joy, adding, "My children will now be able to study anytime."
Meanwhile, there are four households of indigenous Kusunda tribe in Gurvakot Municipality-5, Rajigaun. Subsistence allowance provided by the government is the only source of income for these people. Despite being within the municipality, Rajigaun still does not have access to electricity. On Tuesday, all four Kusunda families received solar lights from an NGO.
"This is a great relief for us as we no longer need to search for oil lamps in the dark," said Tej Bahadur Kusunda.
Lopunmukh Simankrit Samaj Uthan Nepal provided solar lights to 400 households of Gurvakot and Bheriganga Municipality with the help of Alternative Energy Promotion Center. People of the indigenous Bote, Raji, Kusunda, Gaine, Badi and the marginalized Dalit community have been benefited with this offer.
As per the details provided by the municipalities, 35 Bote, 20 Raji, four Kusunda, 100 Badi and Gaine along with other marginalized households were provided with solar lights. Two bulbs have been installed in their houses backed by the 10-watt solar power.
While distributing the solar lights, Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi stated that efforts are being made to uplift the living standard of the poor and marginalized people. He assured that no locals of Karnali province will remain landless in the near future. He informed that the province is planning to form a powerful commission to solve the problems of the landless and homeless people of the province.
"We have made a decision to conduct Chief Minister Integrated Settlement Development Program to ensure shelter for all," he stated.