Day 20: Ujire Surveys Begin

We began our surveys with help from SELCO Lab employees and some students who are helping them out. The morning was spent going over the surveys. I could kind of see a slight clash of interests, as what we’re doing as a distributor of products is quite different from what SELCO does as a service provider. I do hope that we can also become more of a service provider, in the sense that we’re making these technologies for the rural household more available in rural areas. Anyhow, because it was mandated from above, the surveyors were sent out. In the morning, I joined a SELCO Lab intern to Dharmasthala, where I saw some pretty interesting things.

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Here we go again! Surveys with shop owners.

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Dharmasthala is known for its temple. People often do pilgrimages here.

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Tobacco-free chewing stuffs. Made from areca nuts (I think). The other chewing stuffs have tobacco. Thus, the packages are marked with scorpions.

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This elephant was making its way to the temple, too.

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SELCO Energy Center inside of a shipping container. Entrepreneurs rent out solar lanterns and charge Rs 5/- for charging mobile phones. There’s also a clean drinking water fountain.

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Solar lantern charging station.

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Mobile phone charging station.

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Sam demonstrates how free fresh drinking water makes you happy.

Even though I was barely in Ujire, my time there became routinized. We left the SELCO Lab around 5:30 pm. I took a bath. Then I met Sam and sometimes others for dinner at Sapna Hotel. This veg restaurant was evidently the best place in town. And in a 14,000 person town, well, that is kind of sad. Thus, there was a reason why I decided to come to Bangalore two days early.

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Essmart’s mission statement is to bring essential, life-improving products to all people, no matter who they are or where they’re from.

Essmart is registered as a US Corporation and an India Private Limited company.

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