Kaleshwor village, known as one of the remote village of Lalitpur district lies at the southern hilly terrains of the district. Although the village is at a distance of 48km from the nearest city point – Chhapagaau, It takes around 8 hrs of local bus ride and 2hrs of uphill walk to reach the village. Due to hilly terrain of the village, the accessibility of each household in the national electricity grid is very low. Hence, the people of Kaleshwor are compelled to use kerosene lamp during evening hours to fulfil their need of light.
Mr. Amrit Gautam, Teacher of Shree Bhag Bhairab Higher Secondary School, came to know about solar tuki when he visited ECCA. He purchased a set of solar tuki for his personal use in his home. The use of solar tuki by Mr. Gautam and his family has been circulated in the village as well as the efficiency, performance and the use of the solar tuki has been demonstrated to the villagers. This created a demand of solar tuki in the village. As there were facility of microfinance for the promotion of solar tuki, the chairman of Jana Jagaran Saving and Credit Cooperative (a local saving and credit group operated by the local villagers) Mr. Giri Prashad Timilsina, visited ECCA office for the promotion of solar tuki in Kaleshwor village.
Thereafter, making an agreement with the cooperative to act as a local agent for the promotion of solar tuki, ECCA had facilitated the use of solar tuki in almost all the household. The use of solar tuki has started in reduction of use in kerosene in the village and declared as kerosene free village in the mid 2009. The local shop owner Mr. Bal Ram Bajara, initiated the solar tuki repair and maintenance centre as his business of selling kerosene went down due to low demand of kerosene. He says – “When I saw Solar Tuki at first in the village, I feared of disrupting my business of sales of kerosene, through which was sustaining my family. I was sure that my sales of kerosene will go down with the increasing use of solar tuki in the village. In no time, my sales of kerosene went down. At the same time, Mr. Giri Prashad Timilsina (Chairman of Cooperative) suggested me to open up the Repair & Maintenance centre in my shop to sustain my business and sent me to the training being organized by ECCA. This has provided me a great relief towards my sustainability of business. Now, the sales of kerosene in the village are very low. People prefer to purchase solar tuki for light rather than kerosene.”
Ramesh Gautam (Student of Grade 11), has been using solar tuki when he was studying in grade 7. He shares his experience of using solar tuki as – “Previously, when I used kerosene lamp for lighting, I felt very uncomfortable during my study in the evening hours. I still remember, that my eyes were irritated and I also got eye infection during my terminal exam time which ruined my exam. I was compelled to breath in the air where smokes from the kerosene tuki were emitted. Hence, I used to avoid study during evening hours. We could not afford for the installation of solar home system as our families economic condition were not very good. I felt very much relieved when my father got a set of solar tuki in my home. The problems that I faced with the use of kerosene tuki were gone. I do not need to breathe in the air of smoke released from kerosene lamp. The light emitted from the solar tuki was very bright compared to kerosene lamp and it does not release smoke. Hence, I got to spend some more time in my study during evening hours. I also could do well in my exams with the help of solar tuki.”
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