Everyone in this slum was sweating, except for one person – a chai wala, who had put up two solar panels on his fragile rooftop. Thanks to these panels, he watched television and ran a fan, his two priorities.
Not all the residents here use solar panels, even as they suffer the heat. Many residents explained that being able to find solar products was a challenge. You can’t buy them in regular shops.
This doesn’t mean slums should be handed over solar panels. Infact, slums should get priority over other residents for grid-based electricity, because they are the most vulnerable and deprived.
Also, they consume less than middle-class homes. We should not dump green technologies on them and stop being accountable for their deprivation.
But there is a lesson from the chai wala for many of us.
If an illiterate man can trust solar panels, why not thousands of educated elite?