Chinnami Pulaka has had a very hard life. Her husband passed away 15 years ago when her kids were very young. From then on, she has been carrying the responsibility of sustaining her family of seven. Of late, her 2 sons too joined her. Her 2 sons abandoned education after completing secondary school. One of them joined a petrol station and the other, a packaging business. Having known the value of education, Chinnami is educating her daughters well. She lives in Jaykaypur near Rayagada, and blackouts, which range from 1 to 2 hours, are a routine here. The duration of blackouts is even more unpredictable when it rains.
Her family relied on a kerosene lamp. The lamp was primarily used by her 2 school going daughters to study. The lethal fumes that emanated from the lamp did pose a threat to her daughter’s health. Thanks to a Milaap loan, some time ago, she purchased a solar lantern, a cleaner alternative to the kerosene lamp and her daughters now study without putting their health at risk.
Chinnami with the solar lantern outside her house.
Furthermore, the government provides only 4 liters of kerosene at a subsidized rate of Rs.14 and it was not sufficient for the whole month. If they need additional quantity, they need to purchase it at a hefty price of Rs.50 in the open market. Her house is small and not properly ventilated. So, she cooks food in the backyard. Else, the house would be filled with smoke and become hot. The solar lantern, with sufficient light intensity, helps her cook dinner in the backyard even after it is dark. There are several others at a constant risk of getting sick or even falling prey to death due to the hazardous fumes that kerosene lamps emanate. You can lend them a hand of support and drag them out of this hell hole.