Kishore Bhagwat, an English language teacher in Dharur taluka of Beed district in Maharashtra, has found an ingenious solution to tackle the frequent power cuts in the region. Frustrated by the disturbance caused to the daily routine in the Zilla Parishad school, this teacher created an indigenous solar-powered amplifier out of scrap, and it has worked like magic. “To address a group of 500 students during the most important part of the school, the morning assembly, power cuts increasingly created trouble for us. So I took up this challenge and decided to provide some solution,” said Kishore in a report in The Times Of India.
The materials required for the completion of the project included a scrap amplifier lying unused in the school, a solar kit provided by the state education department to be displayed in the science lab, and a 12-watt battery. Once these were assembled, the amplifier started generating power during the morning assembly. And all of this cost just Rs 500. Other than the morning assembly, it is now also used for announcing common instructions in all classrooms, playing rhymes for primary classes and other activities.
Principal A R Tidke said, “Our school is located at the base of a mountain with poor access to basic facilities. Power supply is not regular and we have to manage with whatever is available for the daily routine. Yet, we have managed an ISO certificate for the school, which was issued on February 1. If we do not put in efforts, the school drop-out rate would increase. We fear that if we do not attain a certain standard in school, parents may not send their children to the school.”
Kishore demonstrated the project to the district education officials who visited the school. It will now be replicated in the 50 nearby Zilla Parishad schools. “Now that the project has been proved successfully and almost all schools have solar panel kits, we will slowly expand to the cluster schools. Power-cuts are a major problem in our area and this innovative thinking will help in the ultimate aim of retaining children in school and restricting drop-outs,” said D P Mendhekar, Block Education Officer in Dharur.