Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Energy solutions for social problems

With SELCO, the group visited a slum to learn about the problems those living there face.
SELCO acts on behalf of the community helping them borrow money and implement energy and quality of life improvements. In order to ensure that they are acting in the interest of the community they must build a relationship with the community and first learn it functions. Using community engagement strategies such as maps, timelines, and relational comparisons, they are able to understand the problems of the community and how to most effectively implement solutions.

We got to participate in community engagement ourselves to learn more about the problems in the slums of Bangalore. We talked with various members of the community and learned about the solar lighting solutions that SELCO was implementing into this slum. The most excited and willing people to talk to us were the kids in the community. Being summer break all of the children were off and we ended up playing cricket with them as they became more engaged with us. Interacting with the community gave us a view into the wants and needs of the families and has given us a broader perceptive into how the lives of a large group of Indian people.