This Diwali, 450 million Indians will be in the dark, living in impoverished rural communities with no access to electricity. These families must choose between costly and noxious kerosene or darkness. Families like Sarda Alma's captured in the video above. Government kerosene subsidies have created a shortage of fuel in rural areas and a black market that sells the fuel required for light at 3 times the market rate. Our government is denying these communities the human right to clean lighting sources.
Earlier this year, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh stated “In our country if we combine diesel, kerosene and LPG Rs 1, 90,000 crore is the amount of subsidy given. The budget of the entire rural development and drinking water ministries in comparison is Rs 99,000 crore. What kind of a country is this?” Minister Ramesh, we ask that you act on your words and take an active stand to end such subsidies while including clean fuel sources- like solar lighting- for India’s rural poor in your budget.
Our government’s policies neglect to serve our country’s poorest areas. The fuel subsidies in place are benefiting those in affluent areas who drive gas-guzzling cars while hurting those who can afford nothing. It is Minister Ramesh’s duty to advocate for the rural poor, and he needs to act on his word and work to bring light to India’s poor.
At Milaap, we believe everyone should have access to affordable energy sources. This Diwali, we ask that you stand with us against policies that keep the poor in the dark and take action to bring light. Let us end subsidies on kerosene and other fuels that benefit the affluent and redirect the money toward supporting renewable and clean energy sources, like solar lighting, that support the poor. Sign our petition and make your voice heard!
The poor cannot wait for bureaucrats to act; we need YOU to take action with Milaap this Diwali! Milaap provides individuals like you the opportunity to lend to India’s poor for solar lights, smokeless cook stoves, clean water, and more. This Diwali we are lighting up 1000 homes with microloans given to India’s poor by people like you! Go to our Diwali Page to learn how you can provide access to clean fuel sources in rural areas and take action this Diwali!
It is your responsibility to advocate for India’s rural poor. However, 450 million still live off the power grid, in the dark, and at the mercy of black market kerosene providers. We ask that you act on your word that acknowledges these issues and work to bring alternative fuel sources to the rural poor. Clean and affordable fuel sources, like solar lighting, should be included in your development plans.
As an Indian citizen, I believe all citizens should enjoy access to affordable and clean energy sources. You have the power to make this a reality. Please be a voice for those in the dark and work to create policy that extends access to energy for India’s rural poor.