Since 2003, the philanthropic initiative Pehli Kiran or “First Ray of Light” has continued to achieve founder Pervaiz Lodhie’s goal to bring the poorest people of Pakistan opportunities for socio‐economic development. The key element is the gifting and maintenance of solar LED lighting systems through the guidance and management of LEDtronics’ affiliated company, Shaan Technologies located in Karachi, Pakistan.
Freedom from Darkness — The sunlight fades as early as 6 p.m, leaving the villagers in complete darkness. With solar lantern lighting, they have about an additional five hours of light to add to each day.
Freedom from Illiteracy — More hours of light means more hours for children to study and get a better education, which is crucial to improving their social‐economic future.
Freedom from Poverty — With solar LED lanterns, the villagers no longer have to pay for expensive kerosene lanterns. Also, with more hours of light, the men and women have additional hours to work, which means more income for each household.
Freedom from Hunger — More income means more money to better feed each member of the family; a daily concern for villagers.
Freedom from Disease — Kerosene lanterns give off toxic and dangerous fumes; solar
LED lanterns do not. LED lanterns also provide extra visibility, which helps against nighttime hazards.
This initiative can easily reach beyond the borders of Pakistan and bring socio‐economic opportunity to the poor in rural areas of the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Central America, etc. It can also go beyond simple solar‐charged LED lanterns to larger scale solar lighting systems utilizing the same principles that have been so successfully followed in these projects.
As of 2013, the solar-powered LED lanterns (approximately $2.33 each) have helped over 1,450 impoverished families save a total of about $10,000.00 immediately from switching to solar-charged light, and increase yearly income by an expected $454,000.00 with a total expected increase of over $2.2 million (based on a five-year or more life expectancy of the LEDs).