For years, a nondescript strip of land in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha district accepted darkness as its fate. Hemmed in by a river, four villages in Dhanaura block remained one of the last areas in the state without electricity.
For more than 370 families in Daranagar, Tiko Wali, Bhuddiyo Wali and Jahangor Wali, candles and kerosene lanterns were the only means of light. Not many villagers could afford diesel gensets; a few loosened purse strings to buy dry batteries to charge cell phones but women stayed indoors and children closed their books after sunset.
One day, however, that all changed. Villages with no electric poles – and no road......