Solar-powered electricity lights up Rupsa village in KalikotThe solar power was connected to a total of 4,200 households in Rupsa and its outlying villages such as Lalu, Malkot, Kumalgaun and Kotwada.
It has been two weeks since a 50-watt solar power was connected to the house of Bisna Sahakari, a resident of Rupsa Adela in Narharinath-4. The solar energy powers five bulbs, a radio and a new television that Bisna bought recently.
“The television that I only saw in India has arrived in our own village,” exclaimed Dhanbahadur Sahakari, Bisna’s neighbour, upon watching the television. Dhanbahadur said he had watched a TV 32 years ago when he was in India for employment.
The solar energy was connected to Dhanbahadur’s house as well, but for lack of enough money, he is unable to purchase a TV, he said. Since the launch of the solar power project in the village, the demand for TV has increased, according to Janak Budha, proprietor of JP Electronics, a local shop selling electrical goods.
Rupsa is a settlement of over 4,000 households, located about a day’s walk away from the Karnali Highway. A predominantly Dalit settlement, Rupsa is one of the villages that were hit hardest by the ten-year-long insurgency. A majority of its 24,000 residents still struggle to get out of the cycle of poverty.
The solar power was connected to a total of 4,200 households in Rupsa and its outlying villages such as Lalu, Malkot, Kumalgaun and Kotwada. Prior to this, the locals depended on lanterns and tukis for light.
“Previously, only rich people had solar light, but now all of us at the village have got access to solar power,” said Ujjali Damai, a local of Kotwada. Damai is a tailor and expects a boost in her productivity with access to electricity. “Now I can even sew during the night,” she said.
The drive was initiated by Narharinath Rural Municipality. Dhirbahadur Bista, chief of the rural municipality, said the success of the project will soon be announced amid a formal function. “We have decided to declare the local unit a ‘Bright Rural Municipality’ in a meeting,” he said.
Deputy Chief of the rural municipality Manshova Budha said that the local unit has also initiated a drive to produce hydro-electricity from the Dhachukhola River. The project will produce 436-kilowatt of electricity.
Ramesh Bista, a resident of Narharinath, said that he and his neighbours are excited with the newfound access to electricity.
“Now we can connect with the outside world,” he said.