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Let There be Light- Part 2.0

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Ravi Radhanpura:

This is part 2 of Let There Be Light- Part 1.0.

Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.
Warren Buffett

The history of the lighting industry dates back to the nineteenth century with a few exceptional examples of experiments earlier. But the fact that the social and economic impact of the electric power and the light industry has been so great, that some refer to the twentieth century as the “Age of Electricity.” From Edison, Franklin, to GE, Westing house, our society has come a long way from gas lamps to CFLs and now to LEDs. Countries and companies are finding solutions to their ever increasing expenditure and investments in lighting structures, which amount to about 20% of the net energy usage throughout the world. The global lighting industry’s size is about US$ 380 billion if lamps, fixtures, and energy costs are included. Today, the lighting industry is also termed as a niche industry or rather the applications of it are termed so. But let us look into the issue from the eye of an Energy manager.

A Lighting concept has certain terminology that a person must understand. Wattage is a measurement of the electrical energy used by an electrical device, such as a light bulb or a CFL(Compact Fluorescent Lamp). The measurement of light output from a lamp is the lumen. All light bulbs have a lumen rating, and it is the relationship between the lumens being produced and the wattage being consumed that can provide us valuable information about the energy-efficiency of a light bulb. This is the ratio of light output from a lamp to the electric power it consumes and is measured in lumens per watt (LPW) also known as Efficacy. Finally, we have no. of hours for each lighting appliance in thousands. Upon consideration of all these factors, we compare different lights and their usage in different applications.

In this respect, LED(Light Emitting Diode) lighting is a revolution in the industry. Today, LEDs are becoming the most favoured installations at industries and homes, for their varied advantages over other lightings like Incandescent lamps, Compact Fluorescent Lamps or even sodium vapour lamps. The reasons for this are that LEDs consume much less power, have higher energy efficiency than CFLs or incandescent light sources and have an extremely long lifetime of about 50000+ hours, light up instantly and can be dimmed to requirements. LED light bulbs use only 2-10 watts of electricity (1/3rd to 1/30th of Incandescent or CFL) Small LED flashlight bulbs will extend battery life 10 to 15 times longer than with incandescent bulbs. Also, because these bulbs last for years, energy is saved in maintenance and replacement costs. For example, many cities in the US are replacing their incandescent traffic lights with LED arrays because the electricity costs can be reduced by 80% or more.

According to a study, If all of the world’s light bulbs were replaced with LEDs for a period of 10 years, total energy consumption would be reduced by 1,929.84 joules, electrical energy consumption would be reduced by terawatt hours, and the financial savings would total $1.83 trillion. Also US DOE states, LED lighting could avoid building of 133 new power plants in future. According to another statistics, solid state lighting could reduce the lighting energy by 50% in US alone by 2025, with savings potential ranging from eliminating emission of 258 Mt of CO2 by 2020.

So why don’t we switch to LED lighting across the globe? Why do we waste so much of useful energy and emit so much of potentially hazardous emissions by using other lamps, bulbs? Perhaps, one of the reasons is the high cost of LED fixtures. It must be agreed that LED installment expenditure initially is high. But, when we apply the return on Investment calculations and analyze, then we find that in general, we can get the ROI within 2-3 years of our investment with around 8-10 times the normal life of bulbs or lamps.

Another ignorant question may be, what are the applications of LED? Well, they are used almost everywhere a normal lighting is necessary. Its multiple uses lie in General Illuminations, street lighting, automotive lighting, consumer electronics, optical communication, sensor applications, mobile applications, architectural lighting, etc. I suggest you google the phrase LED APPLICATIONS and you will see the vast ocean of applications. Browsing through LEDs Magazine and CREE site, keeps us updated with the recent advancements as well.

Finally, it may be lame for me write an article dedicated specially to LED lighting and the need for us to adapt to it, but I feel it is high time for us citizens of a better informed world of tomorrow to think about ENERGY SOLUTIONS and apply energy management concepts in our daily lives and businesses. Perhaps, that is why DISNEYLAND’s recent modification to LED lighting and Consumer electronics industry shifting towards LED based TV’s and appliances has given a spark to the world. We also, several governments setting up plans to replace cities and street based lighting with combination of solar PV and LED illumination. One more example of students of Tian Sheng, a polytechnic from China have replaced street lighting into LED based lights themselves and saved more than 70% of energy usage.

Finally, “Energy efficiency is a critical component of our efforts to reduce load-shedding, enhance energy security, and mitigate climate change. Its potential to reduce demand is larger and costs lower than generally believed.”


The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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