"With a population of 3.9 million (Census 2001) Uttar Pradesh is one of the largest districts of the country (by population). Small land holdings, landless workforce, low per capita income, and low literacy rate characterize the predominantly agrarian society. In addition to the agricultural activities, carpet weaving and production of scent are the major economic activities in the area. Many villages in Jaunpur lack reliable access to conventional forms of energy systems that have the potential to bring about improvements in quality of life and support development by enabling public services (for instance, education and health) and productive uses (for instance, by increasing the productive hours in a day)."

"IKEA is working in partnership with UNICEF on a Child labor prevention project in parts of district Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh. By addressing the energy supply issue, perhaps one can further improve the lives of the people in these villages. IKEA commissioned Winrock International India (WII) to study the feasibility of a solar photovoltaics application program in that region with the objective of assessing the potential of such a program in furthering IKEA’s human development initiatives i.e., improvement in the quality of life of people and prevention of child labor."

"The initiation of this project has benefited the local community immensely, most of whom have daily additional incomes ranging between Rs. 50 to Rs. 100."

"These impacts have been measured both qualitatively and quantitatively, some of which are:
  • Children felt less strain on their eyes while studying with solar lanterns.
  • With the increase in the average number of working hours by 2.1 hours per day, the average annual income (income earned during the extra productive hours) has increased by Rs. 5,504.
  • Kerosene consumption has come down to 3.63 litres per month from an average of 8.32 litres per month for a family resulting in reduced expenditure of Rs. 60 for a family.
  • Women using solar lanterns for domestic purposes have additionally reported that their quality of life at home in general has improved compared to the time when they were in darkness. Their rooms are now cleaner and devoid of smoke."

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