NB Institute of Rural Technology (NBIRT), in collaboration with IIT Kharagpur, has undertaken a programme of Indian government to provide micro solar domes (MSD) to 50,000 tribal huts of 10 states including West Bengal.

In West Bengal,3,000 such tribal families already received it, said Dr SP Gon Chaudhuri, director NBIRT. A survey conducted by Ministry of Science and Technology, revealed there are 50,000 tribal villages in 10 states which are located in dense forests and in fringe areas where there isn’t enough sunlight during the day. Villages which are located in tidal areas with erratic power supply or absence of direct connection to main power grid, depend on kerosene oil lamps light up their huts.

The two mentioned institutes are installing 50 ,000 micro solar domes in rural areas in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Assam, Odisha, Tripura, Manipur, Rajasthan and Bihar. It is a unique device innovated and developed by Prof. (Dr.) S.P. GonChaudhuri which uses a combination of passive and active energy.

The professor explained that during daylight MSD will absorb sunlight and at night, the photo voltaic cells will help in lighting the lamp. With low maintenance, it also has mobile charging facility. The first phase of the project saw installations of 12,000 MSDs in WB, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tripura and Manipur.

“At night, my vision becomes low due to my old age, so this device is very much beneficial for me for cleaning my small tin house and daily cooking purpose,” said Usha Malakar, a tribal woman when she was provided with a micro solar dome.