New Delhi: Panasonic India, aiming to help improving the living conditions around the world including India, on Friday announced the launch of 100 thousand solar lantern project in India.

The company also announced that by the end of 2018, the year marking 100th anniversary of the company’s foundation, it will distribute 100,000 solar LED lights to people in the world without electricity.

This project in India has been launched in collaboration with four NGOs- World Health Partners and Swayam Shikshan Prayog of Bihar, Sahaj of West Bengal and Plan International India of Andhra Pradesh. It aimed to contribute 5.000 units of solar lights in the current fiscal in all three states.

Speaking at the launch of Panasonic BG-BL01, a portable solar-powered LED light that doubles as a charger for USB gadgets, Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said that it will help in empowering communities living in off grid areas and it will also enable the medical care services at night to promote the healthcare campaigns. “The contribution of solar lights to non-electrified areas is unique initiative by Panasonic which will help solve various social issues. I would like to commend Panasonic for promoting such corporate citizenship projects in India by adding to the country’s growth,” he said.

In a ceremony held at New Delhi, 5,000 compact solar lights were allotted to off grid areas in India. Currently, there are about 1.32 billion people worldwide living without electricity, mainly in developing countries of Asia and Africa.

The device has three LED lamps (0.12W×3), once charged completely– it works continuously for approximately 10 hours when set to high brightness and 60 hours when set to low brightness. It takes about 15 hours to charge the device with solar energy and about 7 hours when using USB. The device has been sized at just 152×104×24mm weighing 150g. It can also house two AA batteries.

Manish Sharma, Managing Director, Consumer Product Division, India, said that the company the aims to become number one innovation company by 2018. “India needs eco-friendly energy solutions. We are looking at launching solar panels and fuel cells in the country by next year,” he said.

Panasonic has been promoting corporate citizenship projects by actively utilizing its core technologies and products. As the first stage of this effort, 3,000 solar lights were provided in February to people of Myanmar.

Michiko Ogawa, General Manager, CSR & Corporate Citizenship Group, Panasonic Corporation, marked the occasion by giving the solar lights to NGOs.

Abhinav Ranjan/JPN

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