If you’re bored of the usual Diwali dhamaka with sweets, firecrackers and gifts, here’s your chance to try something new. Starting today, Grassroutes, an organistion that promotes rural tourism, will launch a Diwali campaign that will help city residents sponsor a renewable light solution for a tribal child. You can also visit the rural tribal village and hand the lantern to the kids personally. The campaign will run till November 12.
“Schedule tribes or endogenous communities are amongst the most ecologically evolved communities amongst the world, but sadly also amongst the most economically backward ones in India. Educating the children of tribal communities will lead to their empowerment and a higher consciousness towards sustainability and our environment in India,” says Darren Lobo of Grassroutes.
He informs that most tribal villages just receive two-three hours of electricity per day, hampering a child’s ability to read or play once the sun sets. Lobo says, “Most parts of rural India function without electricity for several hours a day. We are offering them a renewable lighting system as part of our festive gift gesture to help make a difference to their life.” The village targetted is made of three tribes — Hindu Mahado Koli, Khatkari and Warli.
The renewable lighting system is worth Rs 750 and will be either be a solar powered lantern or a wind up lantern. The visit to the villages to hand out the lanterns will be made post Diwali on November 13 and 14 (Children’s Day). At the village, patrons can also indulge in activities such as scavenger hunts, milking cows and seeing how the milk is distributed. You could also fish, hunt for crabs, chop wood, draw water, trek, and star gaze or participate in light rappelling.
Grassroutes operates with a 60:40 ratio. Sixty per cent of the money earned is paid to the village. Villagers are also employed as guides, housekeepers. The money is given to the village tourism committee who passes it on to the villagers.