Tuesday, 25 March 2014

ILLUMINATING ONE VILLAGE AT A TIME

26th - 30th January 2014: A Residential Project undertaken by the Gold Award Participants of Singapore International School, Mumbai

The International Award for Young People (IAYP) not only serves to be a life-changing experience for the participants but also for everyone who comes in contact with this Programme. One such instance was underscored through the initiative undertaken by the students of Singapore

International School (SIS), Mumbai. During the course of their Residential Project some students from the school helped install community and residential solar lighting systems at Irshalwadi, a small village in Maharashtra. Irshalwadi is a picturesque village, 3700 feet above sea level and 67 kilometres from the bustling financial capital of India, Mumbai.

As it is clear from its location, basic amenities like transportation, electricity and water are of major concern in the village comprising 40 houses. For four nights and five days, the Awardees were determined to bring about a sustainable change in the village and make life simpler by providing one of the basic resources -- electricity. At the end of the project, the Awardees were successful in installing many solar panels, thus lighting the local village school, ensuring a platform for students to receive education and connect to the outside world.

Along with installation of solar panels, the Awardees were also involved in the cleaning of the water body in the village, and the construction of embankments. This is also not the first time that SIS Awardees have helped transform a village -- last year they helped set up the water supply pipeline in Khonda village, reducing everyday hardship that the villagers used to face for a long time until then.

While installation of solar panels and improving water supply were the tangible changes in the village, during the course of activities like cooking, cleaning, and most importantly interacting with the local people engaging in cultural exchange, the project evidently had a valuable and lasting impact on the Awardees themselves. These activities helped them in their overall development which empowers them for future.

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski once said, "Technology should be an important ingredient. It may be and should be a tool for social development." SIS participants of IAYP celebrate this view and work towards creating committed citizens of the world.  Click for pictures

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