The Benefits of Solar Power in Assam
The Jesuits in Assam State are working in an area with 885 registered tea gardens. In these tea gardens, the Adivasis (the indigenous people of Jharkand state) work as bonded labourers. The British brought them to Assam in 1831 and since then they have worked as indentured labourers on the tea estates, growing more distant from their origins. In the eyes of the state, they have come from another place. This impacts their social ranking, which has caused many socio-economic difficulties for them.
Jesuit Missions has been working with Jesuit-run Loyola School in Assam, whose students are mainly Adivasis, Nepalese, and Muslims. The aim is to address the urgent need of constant electricity for learning computer technology knowledge. Thanks to Jesuit Missions supporters, Loyola School was able to install a solar power plant on its grounds this school year. It is now providing a basic need that so many take for granted. Before, there was no regular electricity supply so they could not hold computer training classes. Now Fr Xavier SJ (the Jesuit development director in Assam) describes the “joy and happiness in their eyes and faces of the students, as they would not miss their classes.”
India is an ideal location for solar energy thanks to the year-round sun. The new plant also powers fans in classrooms, which provides much relief during the Assam summer heat and allows the students to concentrate. A further benefit of this project is the promotion among students and staff of environmental awareness and caring for our common home. This is crucial in India, where the population disproportionately experiences the effect of climate change.
We wish all the students all the very best luck during the next year when they can return to school and take advantage of the new energy.
India is one of the worst places affected by Coronavirus. Our partners need your support more than ever, donate to support our COVID 19 response here.