Notes from the field: West Bengal | Milaap

Notes from the field: West Bengal

Our videographer, Bianca and Marketing Manager Megha went to the Sunderbans in West Bengal (where we disburse loans to light up homes) a couple of weeks back. This was Megha's first field visit and she was super excited. Here's her account of the trip:

My first field trip was to Kolkata - always a lovely and a welcoming city. There is something so warm about the city that it makes you fall in love with it.

I had always been wanting to go to a field trip.. wanted to get a firsthand insight into the lives of people we are all working at Milaap for. Naturally, I was very excited about the trip.         

We got a chance to visit some of the most remote areas in West Bengal. The place was beautiful and the villages were so naïve and full of life. We got a chance to interact with the people residing in those villages who were our borrowers.



First day we went to a village called Raghunathpur in Dakhim Barasat district of West Bengal. We got a chance to interact with the people who were already using the solar panel installed by DCBS. We realised that people were very happy and satisfied and they thought it was a good investment. It definitely made their lives more comfortable. Men in the house were able to work at night, kids were able to study and women were able to do the household work with ease. They no longer were dependent on kerosene oil lamps. The kerosene lamps would cause breathing diseases,  black smoke would darken the house walls and add to that, oil is not cheap!. Solar lighting is helping them lead better lives.

Next day we got an opportunity to visit one of the most remote villages in the Sundarbans area. This village had no sign of electricity. They had cell phone network but no electricity. People have to walk 3km to a shop to charge their mobile phones. After meeting these people, I realised these people have the capacity, but are just short of means and facilities. When we told them about getting a loan from Milaap for Solar panel installations, people were extremely excited and happy about it and were eagerly waiting for it. I could see the happiness.. their life was going to become easier...
























They appreciated what we are trying to do for them. It was a brilliant feeling to know that our efforts are helping someone.

It was great to meet those people.. And it was an awesome experience. I can't imagine getting a chance to see such remote parts of India, but for a field trip like this. The people were so welcoming and the hospitality was so touching.

I would love to go for another field trip! :D