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Background

When girls are educated, health and hygiene in homes is automatically ensured

Power Crisis in the Country

Around 1.3 billion people worldwide still lack access to electricity. For many, kerosene (paraffin) is a common lighting fuel and kerosene lamp use is widespread in the developing world. A large section of rural households in India (43%, 7.2 crore households & 30 crore population) still depend on kerosene as the only source of lighting.

Majority of these households belong to villages which are technically electrified. There are millions of school-going children living in semi-rural and rural areas, who donít have access to a clean and safe light which can help them study after sundown.

Problems Faced

Extensive use of kerosene lamps/candles: Majority of households depend on kerosene for lighting and the children study using these lamps which provide very dim and insufficient light in terms of illumination. The lamps put strain on the childrenís eyes, emit smoke and give the children eye problems.

Increasing Poverty: A rural household in India spends a substantial part of their income on kerosene fuel for lighting. The average monthly household expenditure on kerosene is as high as Rs. 100 per lamp (Rs. 1200/yr). The fuel prices are increasing and are available mainly in black market at a much higher price.

Health Hazards: As the children are regularly exposed to kerosene lamps, the soot and toxic fumes emitted cause health problems like irritation in the eyes, severe respiratory illness (lung and throat cancers) and cataract to name a few.

Fires & Burns: The number of victims of fire accidents and burn injuries due to use of kerosene lamps run into millions in India.

Government Expenditure: Government provides kerosene by importing oil which drains valuable hard currency. The escalating costs of providing fuel drain money away from primary needs like food, health services, housing, drinking water etc.

Environmental Degradation: Burning of billions of liter of fossil fuels increase global warming. Itís also reducing the available fossil fuel on the planet.

State wise summary of rural households in india:
Kerosene as main source of lighting
Sl. No. States & UTs No. of Kerosene Lit Rural Households Approx. Affected Population (Crore)

1

Uttar Pradesh

19111021

11.60

2

Bihar

14963756

8.22

3

West Bengal

7927731

3.61

4

Orissa

5113827

2.20

5

Madhya Pradesh

4546696

2.21

6

Assam

3782653

1.85

7

Rajasthan

3729431

2.03

8

Jharkhand

3113279

1.66

9

Maharashtra

3107049

1.47

10

Andhra Pradesh

1450876

0.58

11

Chattisgarh

1235592

0.56

12

Karnataka

965641

0.45

13

Gujarat

869255

0.43

14

Tamil Nadu

791493

0.31

15

Haryana

335860

0.18

16

Uttarakhand

204149

0.10

(Source: Census 2011)


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