Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar provides lights to rural India

Indian star cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, touted as the most famous man in India, has just retired from the game. He will now spend his days providing light to rural India, instead. 

‘There are places in India where there is no light,’ he said during an interview with BBC’s Today Programme. ‘I’d like to provide them with solar lights. I’d like to make sure the entire nation is lit up.’

The living legend will be promoting the non-profit organisation Spreading Happiness, which works at the village-level distributing LED lighting systems and educating people on the system’s use.  

The energy problems across India are well known and common. Some remote areas have access to intermittent electricity, while others have none at all. The Spreading Happiness initiative is providing people in rural areas with light that can either run on sunlight or on mains power. 

The In-Diya Lighting System, provided by Tendulkar’s partner Schneider Electric, is designed to do both. The system can either be plugged directly into the AC supply, if available, or be connected to a solar panel. The company claims In-Diya can light up a 3.7m x 3.7m room for normal activities and last around 50,000 hours. The battery can provide up to eight hours of backup power.

Schneider Electric isn’t alone is launching a lighting initiative in India, but it is the only one to be backed by a name like Tendulkar. Earlier this year, Panasonic announced plans to donate 100,000 solar lanterns to communities lacking access to electricity in Asia and Africa. This included 5,000 lanterns in India. And in 2010 the Indian government provided $10 million (€7.4 million) for solar energy projects in rural areas, which included solar lanterns and solar home-lighting systems in villages across the country.