I held 6-year-old Amrita by the hand as she pulled me into her home. At once, thick acrid smoke filled my lungs and stung my eyes. I looked for the source of the smoke and soon discovered it was caused by burning firewood used by her parents to heat up water. Her father and mother work at a coffee estate from where they collect firewood after work, for heating water for the family. They have no choice but to use firewood as their source of energy and so do all the other families in the settlement around them. Looking at little Amrita and her sisters Amulya and Rajeshwari, my heart filled with sadness as I saw firsthand the smoke that they inhaled on a daily basis. It also struck me that apart from affecting their health, and being hazardous, using firewood also pollutes the environment. Burning wood releases greenhouse gases which increase the rate of global warming. In addition, there is a steady rate of deforestation as every family harvests a small amount of firewood on a daily basis to meet their energy needs. I thought hard about how I could make a difference to their lives. It struck me that in this part of South India, solar radiation is plentiful, and using solar water heaters would be an obvious solution to this problem. I realised that if I could purchase these amenities for the family of Amrita and a few other low-income families like hers, it would make a demonstrable difference to their way of life. I knew that I could make a difference a few families at a time!
This is the primary reason I am trying to raise funds through this campaign. Furthermore, to supplement this campaign, I am also organising a charity football tournament in Bangalore to be held on April 15th, 2017.
By raising funds to buy solar heaters I hope to help these low-income families live safer, healthier lives and also save the environment in a small but tangible way. Each 100-litre capacity solar water heater costs around Rs 25000 and could benefit two families. My target is to raise Rs 2,00,000 (USD 3000), to purchase and install 8 water heaters.
So please donate to this charitable cause to improve the lives of Amrita, her sisters and other children like her! Your support will be highly appreciated by the families that benefit from this project.
Please don't forget to SHARE on FB (From this page!!) and help me spread the word!
Thanking you for your generosity!
Nikhil Chengappa, Indus International School, Grade XI