Solar – A Gift That Keeps Giving

Here’s a peek into what we have been doing at Oorjan for last few months, in which we got associated with a very noble cause I really wanted to share.

Solar Energy is making headlines daily these days. We hear of massive capacity allocation plans by central governments, of entire land masses being powered by solar only. I believe this is just the start of the revolution globally. Even more so in India – where we get <1% of our electricity from solar energy currently.

In these major announcements, we lose focus on how solar energy can empower us and people all around us, in a very tangible way. Solar energy (via photovoltaic cells) is elegant – it’s simple, lasts decades and is easy to adopt. The benefits are magnified when it is generated at the point of consumption – on your very own roofs. Just like people vouch by their kitchen gardens, this is your “electron garden” and I can promise you it takes less effort to maintain the latter 🙂

A recent project completed by Oorjan was a great reminder to some of these benefits. We installed a 6-KW project for Vatsalya Trust, an orphanage, in the heart of Mumbai, India. Based on Mumbai sunshine, we expect to produce on average 800 units of solar electricity per month. This saves the Trust around INR 9000 per month, or 30% of their bill at the current rates. This system will last 25 years (with a slight reduction is output annually).  In the context of a orphanage – this is a substantial saving that can be used towards the care-taking of the kids, with no change in their lifestyle. INR 9000 to the Trust means 4 kids’ monthly expenses are covered, which is significant considering they have about 30-40 kids at any point of time. They are already considering increasing the solar installation size.

This continues for EVERY YEAR of the project life. This project was donated to the orphanage, as part of the CSR campaign of some organizations – a perfect donation in my opinion. More should consider and follow suit.

I derived a lot of satisfaction in working with the Vatsalya Trust and it’s caretakers. What a PASSIONATE management team (all of them making Vatsalya their second careers after very rewarding careers in their early years)! They take in kids as young as 1- week old – it’s gut wrenching to see 3-day olds abandoned by parents… but thankfully being taken care of by Vatsalya. They have a cradle outside their gates, and have often found kids left in that overnight. They call themselves the “interim parents” while they try to place the kids in good families via adoption. They have 150 families waiting to adopt!

To list a few of their accomplishments, Vatsalya Trust has provided:

  • 30+ years of service in their mission.
  • Have placed 1200 kids in good families. The first few adopted kids have returned to serve the home with their own kids now. They do not allow kids with any kinds of physical limitations to be adopted and take care of them throughout their lives.
  • Are imparting free computer literacy classes to grown-up girls and placing them in corporate jobs, hence setting them towards self-sufficiency forever.
  • Have two more centers – one orphanage in Alibaug and a center for grown up, orphaned girls. They are also in the process of constructing an “elder’s home” nearby.

Friends, I would encourage you to open your hearts for this great institution. When you think of donating, please keep them in mind, for the cause of kids in general (not solar).

You can reach out to them directly at vatsalyatrustmumbai@gmail.com or http://www.vatsalyatrustmumbai.org/.  Ping me if you need help contacting them.

Rooftop Solar Plant @ Vatsalya

Rooftop Solar Plant @ Vatsalya

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