• Ray of Change

P.M. Modi's Electricity Solution? The Real Problems that Still Remain

"I am delighted that every single village of India now has access to electricity."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted this earlier this year, and his statement suggests new reforms in India that are sure to positively impact the nation in the long term. However, this statement fails to recognize all the problems that sprung new leaks in what is the boat of electricity in India.

Let's break down this tweet piece by piece. Modi uses the phrase "every single village" to describe the area this supposed solution had covered, but reports from The Economic Times explain these reforms only apply to certain villages. As BBC News explains, remote and inaccessible villages are not included in these numbers, as well as homes that cannot afford the monthly expenses for electricity. PM Modi's definition of "access to electricity," as stated by Forbes, is that only 10% of households in the area have electricity, meaning one village can be considered electrified even if 90% of the village doesn't have access to it. In other words, Modi is missing a lot of people with that claim.

Furthermore, this "access to electricity" isn't always guaranteed; The Economic Times elaborates that poor connection and power cuts due to companies wishing to reduce their losses are commonplace in many areas in India. I saw this for myself in our community of focus: of the 150 houses in our community of focus, only 4 had electricity and all of the inhabitants of those homes complained about how the electricity never really worked.

So what is Modi so "delighted" about? That is unclear.

What is clear is the advantage that solar lighting had over electricity: it provides the users with control over charging lights, doesn't cost money for each use, and works well in India's mostly sunny climate.

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