Government of India’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for all (UJALA) programme is not only making waves in India but has also created a buzz internationally as well. The immense potential of this programme has impacted a young girl of Indian origin, Meera Vashisht from Houston, Texas to such an extent that she took it upon herself to raise funds and distribute LED bulbs to the section of society, which still can’t afford it. With the support of her parents and after almost a year of reaching out to five hundred people in her vicinity, Meera collected $2,079.51 or approximately Rs 1,40,000, to purchase LED bulbs from Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), the implementing agency for the UJALA programme and distributed them to the residents of JJ clusters in Keshavpuram in Delhi . Meera Vashisht, a 13-year-old girl, chanced upon news of the Government of India’s UJALA programme while working on her 7th standard science project.
The success stories of this initiative were enough to intrigue her and on further research, she was overwhelmed by the impact of this programme on the country and its environment. Meera recognised the potential impact of LED bulbs and took it upon herself to raise funds and contribute towards a big change. During the occasion, cheerful Meera said, “LED bulbs use less than half the energy of an inefficient bulb and runs for over 7-8 years. I am very happy to have been able to carry out the distribution of LED bulbs and hope to inspire young minds across the globe for working towards energy efficiency.”
Meera also believes that her effort will result in lighting up 46 houses for one year, reducing electricity bills by Rs. 2,500 and most importantly there will be significant reduction in CO2 emissions every year. Notably, her initiative will further strengthen India’s commitment to achieving 30-35% reduction in carbon emissions. Under UJALA, over 12.60 crore LED bulbs have already been distributed across India. This is leading to a daily energy savings of about 4.48 crore kWh and resulting in avoidance of about 3,278 MW of peak demand. Through the scheme, the estimated cumulative cost reduction of bills of consumers, per day, is INR 17.94 crores. The initiative is part of Government of India’s efforts to spread the message of energy efficiency in the country.