The Tech Awards 2009 The Katherine M Swanson Equality Award Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha

2009 Equality Award Laureate
Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha: SuryaHurricane: Electrification for the Landless
Laureate Country: Bangladesh
Project Country: Bangladesh

Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha is recognized for its unique vision to provide solar lighting to transient settlers who live in flood-prone areas in northwestern Bangladesh.

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With a high density of river systems, parts of Bangladesh remain submerged during the monsoon. Millions of people living in river basins lack electricity because development has been concentrated around paved roads.

Shidhula’s culturally sensitive solution, called SuryaHurricane: Electrification for the Landless, is to retrofit existing kerosene hurricane lanterns with battery-run CFL or LED lamps. Women are then recruited and trained to recharge the lantern batteries from boats that are outfitted with solar panels. Half of the funds generated through recharging fees are returned to the community in the form of schooling, medical aid, and emergency relief programs.

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