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  • IIT- D students light up slum dwellers’ lives

    STUDENTSat IIT Delhi have set out to light up the lives of the poor this Diwali, using bottle bulbs.

    Taking a cue from the Liter of Light concept, popular in Philippines, the students associated with the National Service Scheme at IITD have started installing waterfilled bottles in the ceiling of slums.
    The bottle refracts light from outside and lights up the dark rooms.

    The bulbs have already been installed in Munirka and the team is now planning to tie up with other colleges to expand it to different parts of the city.

    “ In slum clusters, the shacks are so cramped that it is extremely dark inside even during the daytime. So, people have to switch on lights to work, or stay in dark for during the day to save on their electricity bills,” said Revant Soni, secretary, NSS IIT- D.

    The team started the project in May this year. After research and training workshops to prepare the bulbs, the team — comprising 10- 15 core members all of whom are undergraduate students — sought guidance from My Shelter Foundation of India which holds experience of installing similar devices in Mumbai, Kolkata and Andhra Pradesh.

    Soni says ever since they installed bottle bulbs in the slums, the residents have become more productive and their neighbours curious.

    “ Earlier, they would just sleep during the day because they would not want to switch on lights. Now they work even during the day. We are planning to train the dwellers to make the bulbs so that they can be self- reliant and use it as a vocation,” Soni said.

    The 1.5 or two- litre bottle is filled with water, fitted in a sheet and fixed in a hole drilled in the ceiling. The bottle is sealed to prevent evaporation and bleach is added to water to keep it clean. It can be made for less than ` 100. “ Once installed, the bottle bulb can last for two to three years,” added Soni.

    IIT Bombay had carried out a similar project two years ago which also provided a guiding path to the local team.

    The bottle bulb concept is known to be the brainchild of Alfredo Moser who first used it in Brazil in 2002.