Passion for a purpose
Passion For a Purpose, Dark and Light, Lady with the Lamp. Darkness of any kind brings not only gloom, but a certain sense of insecurity too. Be it...
Lighting Up Lives
Darkness of any kind brings not only gloom, but a certain sense of insecurity too. Be it the darkness as in dark and light or the darkness of ignorance, the pain of being consumed by it is untold. Hence, its but natural to worship the light that leads you out of darkness into the world of ‘knowing’. Precisely OCOL (One-Child-One-Light) is giving that light which allows the rural folk to pursue education, day to day activities and extended work hours which adds up to their earning capabilities.
Like ‘Lady with the Lamp’, we have our own ‘son of the soil’, Dr Ranga who literally brings rays of light into the lives of many underprivileged. Dr Ranga (Ranganayakulu Bodavala), is the Founder President of THRIVE (an NGO working towards benefiting rural and tribal communities in Home Lighting, ICT, Education and Health using advanced and innovative technologies) and One-Child-One-Light campaign. Having served in the Rural Development sector for a long time, Ranga always had the burning desire to do something for the underprivileged. After seeing the rural folks’ lives from close quarters, he realised their basic need for a proper light and decided to light up their lives. Hans India’s rendezvous with this spirited Harvard alumnus, brought into light various aspects of our country, its ‘true pace’ in development, human’s zest to learn and much more….
How does it feel to be a Harvard alumnus?
It gives a great confidence and courage, since you rub shoulders with stalwarts, scientists and even Nobel Laureates. You see people with a vision who wish to make their lives into fruitful endeavours. This inspiration is enough of an impetus to keep you fuelled life-long.
How did OCOL come into being?
Kerosene lamps and toxic fumes are common sights in any hamlet or even towns after sunset. As per our Census, India alone has over 120 million (12 crore) school going children and more than 70% of these children still depend on oil lamps for studying in the dark. The Indian Government faces a huge deficit of nearly Rs 24,000 crore per annum due to subsidies on kerosene, and faces huge losses as nearly 40% of this is pilfered and sold off in the black market. How can the Government’s Right to Education initiatives be truly implemented meaningfully if our children have to struggle to study in pollution and dim light in the first place? There is a dire need to address this issue at the earliest. Seeing the rural folk go through this hardship for education was heartrending. This propelled me to launch a large scale social initiative with the support of likeminded and highly motivated individuals who would promote the concept and ensure wide-spread awareness and gather as much support as possible to make this happen – and thus One-Child-One-Light (OCOL) was born.
What is OCOL’s mission?
OCOL's mission is to support every underprivileged child's right to education by giving a safe, clean and low-cost study light.
The mission sounds idealistic, but did it take off easily? Especially when such huge financials are involved?
Having a vision alone is not enough. A workable action plan is mandatory. If finance is one hurdle, convincing people to shift to LEDs is another Herculean task! Since this was my baby, initially I funded the project entirely from my pocket. As the programme gained momentum, philanthropists sponsored Study Lights for children from rural schools. Corporates and industries incorporated the OCOL programme as part of their CSR activity.