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Solar lanterns for villagers

Villagers in Punjab’s Lodhran district have been provided solar lanterns to combat electricity shortfall by a national assembly candidate.

Jahangir Khan Tareen of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf decided to provide light to the inhabitants of four small villages in Lodhran. Many of the villagers now have solar lanterns to light the streets at night.

In a country where the daily electricity shortfall averages 5,000MW, there is one promise no political party dared to make in its electoral manifesto: a short-term solution to the energy crisis.

Deciding that electioneering doesn’t have to do with direct politicking, Mr. Tareen decided to provide light to the inhabitants of four small villages in Lodhran.

He decided the only possible solution was the use of solar lanterns in the villages.Tareen’s inspiration was the international “Lighting a Million Lives” (LaML) campaign led in Pakistan by Buksh Foundation.

The election was also a priority. So the deadline was decided to be April 10, to be exact, or one month and a day before May 11. The solar lamps became available on April 10.

An estimated 2,500 are now benefiting from the availability of the solar lamps.

About 43 percent of Pakistan’s population lives without access to electricity. Of these 43 percent, 70 percent of people live in rural areas. About 50,000 villages are completely detached from the national electricity grid.

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