Project Urjal – An initiative by Enactus NSUT

Students from Enactus NSUT, as a solution to tackle the lack of electricity among the underprivileged and the harms associated with it, began Project Urjal in 2018. Project Urjal is a socio-entrepreneurial venture that aims at solving electricity tribulation in underprivileged communities by providing an affordable, durable and effective solution based on the use of renewable solar energy. The team discovered one such community devoid of electricity in Dwarka wherein residents used candles and kerosene lamps to light up their houses. Further need assessment showed that the majority of the residents were affected by lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis caused due to the release of obnoxious gases from the kerosene lamps.

Thus, realising the urgency of the situation, their technical team designed a solar based bulb URJAL to cater to the community. The initial model consisted of a high power LED in a reused plastic bottle half filled with water and a battery connected to a solar panel on the top.

Collection drives were conducted for reused plastic bottles in schools, colleges and public spaces, while the rest of the essentials were procured at minimum prices without compromising on the quality. Two technically sound men were employed from the community itself and were trained to design the product all by themselves, thus providing them with an extra source of income. The product was then sold to the community through an EMI model to reduce the financial burden on the economically weaker section.

Recently, Team Urjal identified a new community in Prem Nagar in Nangloi which was facing a similar crisis. Due to the unavailability of electricity, the locals used to pay ₹20 every day to get their phones charged from a shop where electricity was available. Taking into consideration this demand for charging mobile phones, the team started the process of getting a solar phone charging unit manufactured and installing it in the area which would be managed by a particular person thus solving the problem of phone charging and providing employment opportunity for one more person. Eventually, the charging of the solar lamps would follow the same model as the charging of phones, thus ensuring a smooth transition.

The ultimate aim of the project is to ensure the popularization and penetration of solar energy as a renewable source in all the sections of the society. With about 70% of existing solar energy being used for industrial and commercial purposes, they aim to instigate this onto households as well, thereby ensuring an inclusive green, clean and an eco-friendly environment.

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