Kantar collaborates with NGO Chirag Rural Development Foundation

Kantar India Foundation, part of Kantar, the leading global marketing data and analytics company, is challenging energy poverty by lighting up homes in rural India this Diwali – in collaboration with Chirag Rural Development Foundation under their flagship initiative ‘Project Chirag’. Through this project, Kantar aims to provide sustainable electrification for 4 villages in Khed and Khalapur, impacting over 1,400 rural citizens of rural Maharashtra. The use of green energy further strengthens Kantar’s drive towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals Additionally, this project promotes the use of solar power, one of the most viable alternative sources of energy in India.

Mere hours from bustling metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Pune, lie thousands of villages in Maharashtra, that drop into darkness after sunset. While our cities come alive after dark, with streetlights casting for safe commutes, and homes with lights allowing families to thrive, some of their rural counterparts continue to be plagued by the lack of sustainable and continuous power. A decade ago, access to conventional electricity was the primary challenge; however, in spite of a number of developmental projects by government and various agencies aimed at electrifying India’s hinterlands, these villages still toil in a vicious cycle of unaffordability and load shedding, amplified by their remoteness and, at times, lack of access. Cyclonic monsoons damage electricity poles and the inability to have connections reinstated post the damage often leaves villages without any source of power for months on end. 

Women are particularly impacted by this. Every chore must be completed between sunrise and sundown, in addition to several hours being spent every day only to collect water.

However, with green energy and development efforts striving to transform the face of our rural landscape, villages are seeing light. In fact, sustainable models to provide the villages with light have been successful in the recent past. 

Speaking about the partnership, Preeti Reddy, Chairwoman- Insights Division, South Asia at Kantar, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Project Chirag in their mission to light up the remotest locations in India, especially during the Diwali (festive season). Chirag Rural Development Foundation’s efforts are aligned with Kantar’s vision of creating a meaningful difference and sustainable solutions for its stakeholders and, particularly for women. We wish the team success in all their endeavors.”

Sabah Vig, CEO Chirag Rural Development Foundation, said, “We are grateful to Kantar for supporting our vision of lighting up lives, particular during this festive season. 11 years and 650 villagers later, we know there is still a long road ahead. Far too many rural Indians survive in darkness. But it is the benevolence of donors like Kantar that understand energy poverty and the need for green energy, that are transforming the socio-economic landscape of our villages, sustainably.”

With Kantar India Foundation’s support for Project Chirag, remote locations of Khopevadi, Shendurli, Bhangarwadi and Zhadani will experience a new Diwali with the hope of a brighter tomorrow under the warm glow of solar lamps. Light, after all, isn’t just a necessity, but a basic right.


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