Basta - Shining bags lighting up lives of kids with HIV

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  Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu, India

Basta - Shining bags lighting up lives of kids with HIV
A solar-powered bag cum study lamp enabling study after sunsets for children affected by HIV

*The visual content above is for representational purpose and may not correspond to this project.



Households in Krishnagiri district, Tamil Nadu suffer from frequent power cuts extending for long hours at a time. To most poor households, alternate arrangements are not affordable and hence remain unavailable. School going children (between the ages of 3 years and 16 years) in these households often return home from school (which are typically situated between 10kms and 20kms from their homes) late in the evening, when the roads and homes are poorly lit. These HIV-infected and/or affected children mostly live in caregivers' homes who often lay restrictions on the amount of electricity used for any purpose, including studying in the evenings. 



The Light Bag has solar panels attached to the front flap and LED lights on the reverse. The idea was that these bags could act as school bags during the day and become a study lamp at night—providing the children with their own source of light. The bags get charged when the children walk to school and even while at school. With a water-proof solar panel and weighing around 620 grams, the durable polyester bag can withstand the wear and tear of daily use, even while being light for the little shoulders. 250 such children in Krishnagiri shall be provided with these Light Bags so that they not only have sturdy bags to carry their books and stationery to school, but they also have an independent and free source of light, without any dependence on the caregiver. 



Light bags for these children will ensure that school going children can study even during periods of power cuts. This, we are hopeful, will decrease the low grades across all standards and improve the children's overall scores over time. Most of these children also live in remote rural areas with reptiles lurking around. These bags could serve as additional source of light and safety for these children while they are walking around their homes. Apart from that, the Light Bags would enable to tackle the problem of dropout rates for these children.

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