Dharnai: The Story of India’s first Solar Powered Village

In this sweltering heat, when there is a power cut, we start cribbing. But have we ever thought how some people in our country survive the scorching summers without electricity. Yes, Dharnai village, in Bihar was one such place where people led their lives without electricity.

Once, this small village was provided with this facility by the state government, but soon there was lack of infrastructure and finally electricity. For almost 33 years Dharnai was in gloom even though diesel generators were available, it was too expensive for the villagers.  So, in 2014 Greenpeace took the initiative to bring electricity to this village along with two other Non-Governmental Organizations- BASIX and CEED( Centre for Environment and Energy Development). And what resulted was that Dharnai was the first village in India to be entirely powered by solar energy.

Yes, it was solar power that revolutionized the lives of the villagers, who once saw nothing but darkness. The 100 kilowatt powered 450 household consisting of nearly 2400 residents, 50 commercial establishments, two schools, streets, water pumps for farmers, and health centre. And even there is a battery backup to provide electricity whenever it wasn’t sunny.

It has been almost two years since this village has got back electricity powered through solar energy. And things have drastically changed!  From economic to health to entertainment, Dharnai has seen progress in every aspect.

That’s the story of a small village in Bihar that reborn just like Phoenix. Many such small villages are still without electricity, in a tropical country that receives 3000 hours of sunshine. If NGOs and government makes use of this unlimited energy, then every home in India will see light and a better future for sure.

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