SociaLite Lighting Systems

Engineering for the Middle of Nowhere

July 2018

The Indian Women Lighting the Way for Change

In India's desert state of Rajasthan, rural women are becoming the surprise agents of change, convincing coal-reliant communities to switch to solar. They are called "Solar Sahelis" or "solar friends", and their job is to convince their neighbors to invest in solar-powered solutions. But it's not easy. For decades, rural India has been flooded with poor quality solar products, most of which have ended up in landfill. For the Solar Sahelis, their first hurdle is helping people to overcome their scepticism, that renewables are a failed technology.