Coimbatore, Tamilnadu: On 22 September 2014, bright electric bulbs lit up 24 households in Kadamban Kombai, a remote village in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu. The families had to manage with only kerosene lamps until then. The villagers were thrilled to see the electric bulb glowing in their homes and a 50-year-old man saw his dream of seeing light in his village come true.
“The village is 1500 feet from the sea level so it is hard to reach and as the village is surrounded by forests, they always fear animal attack. Wild animals like elephants and bears visit frequently,” said Moorthy, the forest ranger.
Situated on the hills, the village has no roads and access to bus and other forms of transport is very limited. Public transport is available only six kilometers away from the village and for nearly 1.5 kilometers, there are no vehicles. Bringing change in such a situation was a tough challenge for the volunteers.
After spending some time in the midst of the villagers and interacting with them, Arul Murugan, a yuvacharya, felt the need for change. With the help of the Venkatesh, the Project Coordinator, they decided to set up solar lights in the village. The work for lighting up the village began in June 2014 after obtaining necessary permissions from the forest authorities. After almost 3 months of arrangements that involved procuring the equipment, installing it and training the villagers on operating it, the village was finally lit up in September.