Kamla: India’s First Woman Solar Engineer (2001)
Many parts of rural India do not have electricity and electrifying these areas is not a high priority for a resource-starved government. Solar electrification is a possible alternative to using conventional, expensive sources of energy.
This short video profiles Kamla from the Barefoot College – Tilonia, which has taken the lead in providing training and technology to villagers to enable them to install and maintain the infrastructure required to solar electrify villages in India. A key objective of the program, in addition to providing the technology to tap solar energy, is to demystify and decentralize this technology. Demystification takes place through the learning process – one that is almost entirely hands-on, with little time spent in front of a black-board confronting unintelligible figures, notations and language. Instead, as Kamla demonstrates, learning takes place by taking apart a transformer and by making mistakes in putting it back together. Once the engineer returns to her village, there is an utter lack of dependency upon non-local engineers.
Kamla is India’s first woman barefoot solar engineer. Along with others like her, she is at the forefront of a revolutionary attempt to provide electricity to the poorest sections of the country.