The Optimist Citizen

To thank the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh for their warm reception to their stay, a traveller duo light up the darkest tribal villages with solar bulbs

A nomadic journey to a remote village in Arunachal Pradesh which led a duo to give to gift 200 solar bulbs to the remote Lhisu tribe. The duo later formed the ‘Batti Project’ which now lightens hundreds of households across Arunachal. 

 

Thirteen years ago when Rajiv left college, agonized by the collateral damage of the conventional idea of development, he had no idea that the unknown path he traversed on will lead him to some of the remotest villages of India. In the year 2011, Rajiv, with his compatriot Merwyn Coutinho, who was a Corporate drop out himself, decided to embark on a journey to the lands in the east. They started something called Further & Beyond: A venture to satisfy Wanderlust and chart unchartered territories. This adventurous venture led them to trip to Gandhigram, Arunachal Pradesh’s easternmost settlement which introduced them to the Lhisu tribe’s way of life. While their time in the village, the duo observed that as dusk fell, light from the ‘choukha’ or ‘fireplace’ is the only respite for many rural households in North East India. The duo realised that the remote communities might have never experienced power as supplied through the conventional grid system. Their need for an artificial source of light was real.

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