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Each Village in India Has Electricity but People Still Live in the Shadows

India is remarkably the world’s third largest producer and consumer of power but their biggest challenge centers around the distribution of that power. The Prime Minister of India is hoping to change that by bringing power to all villages in India. But just because all villages in India have power doesn’t mean all the people that occupy those communities do. Millions of people still live without electricity in their homes.

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Prime Minister of India’s Success

In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi won the election on a platform that included the promise to bring electricity to every village in India. The Prime Minister’s beloved plan had a set goal to provide more than 18,000 villages with power by the end of June 2018. According to Modi’s administration, he’ll meet his goal by definition.

This is a big accomplishment for the lives of India’s citizens, but unfortunately, 32 million homes are still without electricity. This is because of the government’s definition of an “electrified” village. According to India’s government, if 10% of the households and public places in a village have electricity, the whole village can be labeled “electrified.”

It’s important to remember that there is a difference between village electrification and household electrification. While village electrification is currently very successful, household electrification is not.

As of June 2018, less than 8% of the newly electrified villages had all of their homes connected to electricity. A lack of electricity can impede economic growth, healthcare, and education among other things. Vivek Sharma, a director at CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory, believes that the broad definitions of electrified just gives everyone a false sense of achievement.

The Challenge

Villages need continuous electricity from a good quality power supply. India is remarkably the world’s third largest producer and consumer of power but their biggest challenge centers around distribution.

A lot of the remote villages in India are where the real challenge arises. Bringing electricity all the way out to those locations is expensive, and the terrain is rough. Some citizens also pass on electricity because of the expense.

The electricity that India’s government is providing to the rural homes comes from a very cheap power supply. The low cost of this electricity results in substantial financial losses for the distribution companies. Some villagers still don’t want to or can’t pay for the chance at a better life.

The Difference That Having Electricity Can Make

When people don’t have electric lighting, they resort to using candles, kerosene, and other polluting fuels as light sources. Electricity not only saves them money but it improves their health as well. Since it provides more light, it also increases productivity hours in a household. It seems as if the solution to so many issues is more than obvious; turn the light on India.