Despite several obstacles, solar panels will power healthcare for thousands, while preserving environmental health.
This past May, Sextant partnered with Hospital for Hope India, an organization who provides much needed healthcare to 1,200 patients each month in a neglected part of the country called McCluskieganj. It’s a small, hilly town in Jharkhand State, India, about 40 miles northwest of the state capital, Ranchi.
In addition to healthcare access issues, the local indigenous people deal with malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, malnutrition, dehydration, and dysentery – women and children being the most negatively affected. Extreme heat and rain make matters worse, and when people can travel to the hospital for help, they risk arriving there without power.
The solar panels our volunteers installed will provide reliable, cleaner, and more affordable energy for the hospital and its surrounding facilities. This supports their ability to offer free blood work, diagnosis, and treatment to those living below the poverty level and to provide education on preventable illnesses.
The success of this project is underlined by collaboration – between the community, Hospital for Hope India, Sextant Foundation, Electricians Without Borders, and Jagriti Vihara, an Indian NGO that helped with construction of the hospital and continues to oversee operations there. With limited resources and a lot of passion, this team is changing the lives of thousands of people who live in the local villages of Jharkhand.
Between extreme temperatures, visa issues, power outages, and food sickness, our solar panel installation took longer than anticipated. Our volunteers learned a lot through this experience, including how to stay cool when it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit (in the shade) and how to position PV panels on a roof with only one bamboo ladder available. In October, we will return to McCluskieganj to wrap up the project, and continue to monitor its performance and carbon offsets, from afar.