The Doon School

Re-Charge – Give light and people will find the way

We are delighted to share a blog written by student Pranav, from The Doon School, who is part of team Re-CHARGE delivering a Global Goals project for the 2020-21 GSL Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community. 

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." --Helen Keller

Project Summary

Our project was made to tackle two dire problems that we have observed in our respective communities: lack of electricity and climate change. The fact that 200 million Indians live, quite literally in the darkness (according to World Bank data) is one of the biggest crises in the world. Living in different parts of India, we noticed that electricity, and more specifically, light is a widespread issue in rural India. It’s difficult to even imagine living without artificial light as it has become such a crucial element of our lives. Our solar powered lamps, made out of recycled plastic bottles, allow for sustainable and affordable electricity, literally brightening the lives of people in rural areas.

With the help of a simple dynamo, gyms can easily provide enough energy to charge basic necessities like phones and laptops. The energy produced by gym equipment such as rowing, cycling, and elliptical machines usually goes to waste. If we install 2-3 dynamos in each gym and a person uses the cycle for an hour it would be enough for him/ her to charge his/her laptop and phone. So to conclude, we want to 1) give everybody proper and sustainable lighting, and 2), to provide people with ways to make their own energy, while staying fit!

The Journey

As a direct result of participating in GSL I have learned how to work in a team, how to think creatively, and most importantly how to help others through any means possible. The process of singling down to one project was a huge task in itself. After resolving some conflicts we came down to energy conservation and helping the less-privileged as a combination. We have looked into ways of conserving energy by switching to renewable sources of energy such as solar-powered lamps, which not only conserve energy but are made out of waste plastic bottles which results in reduction of pollution. We have raised Rs. 600000 from our corporate sponsor and community partner, Lohia Group. We have manufactured, and are donating nearly 2000 lamps with this amount of money while spreading awareness about renewable energy. We also have other community partners like Science Diaries, Future Foundations, and Global Social Leaders.

Our second project concentrates on the production of electric energy through muscular energy. This project is about retrieving energy from an exercise cycle machine, however, we are tackling the design part of this project. We are planning to set up an eco-friendly exercise cycle here in The Doon School and will collect and analyse the feedback to make the project more efficient.

The Next Chapter

I think that this project has been productive and has helped me understand the importance of a lot of things when it comes to working in a team, but more significantly, it made me realize the effort and dedication required to make real, lasting change in the world, and I think that is something that everybody can stand to benefit from. For example, we plan to continue distributing lamps to communities in Pune, Kanpur and Chandigarh, after the competition is over. We can do this with our funding of Rs. 6 Lakhs that we have received. I would certainly recommend others, like my peers, to get involved in similar projects because to have effect on this world and to make good change, many others, more than the people participating in this competition, need to be aware and active.