Jamshed lives in Ferozepur Jhirka block, Nuh district, Haryana. He has been a tailor for ten years. He sets up shop at the crossroads in the center of his village. Jamshed has a has a six-member family, with four children. Most of the villagers come to him to get their clothes stitched; therefore, Jamshed has ample work round the year, but delivery of the orders at the committed time has always been a challenge to him, which affects his business specially during festive seasons. To sustain his business, he works hard and tries to work late into the nights, but uncertain electricity creates hindrance. This problem upsets Jamshed and affects his family.
In March 2021, Jamshed participated in village meeting where several interventions of a CSR-supported project implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation were being discussed. One of the topics was on the locations for installation of solar streetlights, which would not be as erratic as electricity. It was decided in the meeting that selected sites should deliver benefits to the maximum people of the village, so the crossroads of the village was identified as appropriate. Jamshed was happy with the outcome of the meeting, as now he would to get the benefit of steady light during the night and be able to increase his working hours.
Among the fifteen solar streetlights with 15 Watt LED power installed in the village, one light was installed at the crossroads in front of Jamshed’s tailoring enterprise. In the evening of the first day of the solar streetlight functioning, at 6:00 p.m. when he usually shuts his shop, Jamshed experienced bright light at his shop. Smiling, he conveyed this news to his family and decided to work for a longer duration.
Jamshed made a profit of INR 12,000 during the Eid festivities last year, of which about INR 4,500 was because of his increased working hours due to the solar streetlight. He had been able to deliver the orders in time as well as stitch more clothes. His wife has started helping in the shop during later hours, as the whole village is lit up and there is no fear of mischief due to darkness.
Jamshed mentioned that this intervention has not only increased his working hours, but some tea stalls and grocery stores have also begun keeping their shops open till later hours, which has been increasing their profits, as well as benefiting the community.
Authors: Sageer Ahmed and Sagar Siddhant
(Sageer is field assistant and Sagar is project associate in district Nuh)