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A bright future

Two students have raised funds to provide solar lighting for a rural school in India

Vansh Kakra and Kushaal Bhatia with students from Madhava Rao Ashramshala school

Vansh Kakra and Kushaal Bhatia used their community project to become advocates for solar energy in India. They also raised money to provide solar lanterns for students at Madhava Rao Ashramshala school, in a small village called Devgaon.

The Middle Years Programme (MYP) students, from Oberoi International School – JVLR, in Mumbai, found the school and donors through WNS Care Foundation, an NGO that has a mission to ‘educate, empower, enrich’. They independently raised Rs 10,000 from five donors and received Rs 6,800 in donations from the local community.

“The main problem that we wanted to help resolve was a lack of electricity during the night,” explains Vansh.

The students bought lanterns and set them up for students, with the help of electricians. “Our hard work paid off seeing the excited faces of the students when we showed them the solar lanterns,” says Vansh.

“Our favourite part of the project was having lunch with the students, talking to them about games they play and what they would want to become when they grow up. I came to realise that ambitions have no barrier,” he adds.

Vansh and Kushaal setting up the solar lanterns for the students

Vansh and Kushaal developed many IB learner profile attributes throughout the process. For example, they were ‘communicators’ as they had to reach out to students, donors, manufacturers, NGOs and teachers. “We reflected throughout this process and kept asking the question ‘how could we take this beyond just a few students?,’” says Vansh.

In the future, the students would like to partner with a company that manufactures solar products to help place solar panels on the rooftop of the school, so it can generate its own electricity. They would also like to persuade companies to offer structured financing for solar power too.

“We intend to ignite a spark for non-conventional energy and brighten up India.”

This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter @IBorganization #IBcommunitystories. Share your great stories and experiences: email