Mahashakti Foundation was founded as a public charitable trust in 2004. They operate in one of the most financially poor States in India - Odisha where 91% of the population resides in villages, and 39% belongs to tribal communities where the average daily income is below $1. The foundation covers six of the most underserved districts here.
Against this backdrop, the organization started a Solar Energy programme in 2012, amongst their existing programmes. Mahashakti builds and operates micro-grids, solar lights, charging stations and improved smoke-free cookstoves. As of August 2016, they have been successful in helping 17,839 borrowers and their families access alternate sources of energy. Solar powered lighting has improved the general quality of life in the region where most households face power-cuts on a daily basis for atleast 2 hours, hampering their productivity. The beneficiaries have reduced expenses on traditional sources of lighting such as kerosene, increased economic activity through extension of working hours, fewer health issues arising from toxic kerosene and cow-dung fumes, and higher literacy rates as children can study after sunset.
Milaap partners with Mahashakti Foundation and Lendahand to bridge the need for financing to fund their projects. They currently need funds to take one step further and increase their reach to cover more energy deficient districts across the State. The loan must be repaid in 12 months.