BRAC’s agriculture and food security programme has taken the initiative to launch D.light Design’s solar products in Bangladesh, aiming to provide power sources for the marginalised people who do not have access to the national power grid. This initiative will help rural poor with an alternative low-cost light source to kerosene lamps and reduce the health risks posed by the kerosene fume. BRAC officials believe that this will also contribute in meeting the growing demand of electricity in Bangladesh.
Three types of solar lights with different features are being marketed; d.light S 1, d.light S 10 and d.light S 250. The products are sturdy, designed for maximum versatility and come equipped with a high-quality, efficient solar panel that is weather-resistant. Additionally, d.light S.250 can serve as a mobile phone charger and has multiple brightness settings. The prices of these products range from 780 to 2600 taka ($9.50 – $32.00). Primarily the products will be marketed in Dhaka, Chittagong, Comilla, Mymensing, Kishorgonj, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Bogura, Jessore, Gopalgonj and Jhalokatthi districts through dealers, and in some sub-districts of Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Borguna, Potuakhali and Pirojpur through programme channels.
BRAC will distribute the products by using its extensive network and appointing local dealers. BRAC’s network will reach the poor in hard-to-reach areas who will be able to pay in instalments for the products. This system is expected to create a positive distributional impact, which will help to change the scenario of the rural Bangladesh in the long run.
D.light design is a social enterprise started out in Palo Alto, California in 2006 fathered by a socially-motivated team of business people and engineers- Sam Goldman, Ned Tozun, Gabriel Risk, Xianyi Wu, and Erica Estrada. D.light is operating with a mission to enable households living without reliable electricity to attain the same quality of life as those with electricity. The company targets to reach 50 million people by the end of 2015. BRAC, being the largest development organization reaching over 126 million people worldwide, presents the most suitable opportunity for a successful partnership which can change millions of people’s lives and create a better future.