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Ronit's bright idea

21-year-old Ronit Kanwar's fear of the dark led to a bright idea that’s changing the lives of families in parts of rural India

Kanwar, a University of Oxford student, set up a company called Empower Energy that enables rural families to use ‘life-and productivity-enhancing products’, starting with solar-powered lamps.     

He was inspired by his own childhood experience of visiting his grandparents in Himachal Pradesh. Power cuts were common in the small village, leaving locals to either endure what Kanwar describes as ‘nightmarish’ hours in the dark or air-polluting kerosene lamps. Now, with a new, cleaner source of light, villagers can work or study longer into the evening.  

What's next?    

After winning the BP-sponsored prize in the One Young World Lead2030 Challenge, Kanwar now has $50,000 and 12-months’ support from a BP mentoring team to develop the initiative further.

Kanwar said: “At Empower Energy, our goal is to enable rural communities to access products and services to help them transform their lives.”

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