Sunlight in a Bottle: Bangladesh Chapter

Remember the last time we talked about the ‘Liter of Light project, and that this project is also initiated in our country? An Environmental Science major from North South University propagated this idea in Bangladesh. It is beyond mentioning how acute the electricity problem is among the huge number of slum communities, who resort to illegal lines as they do not have permit to legally have electric connection to their homes. Sajid Iqbal, the person we have mentioned about earlier, took notice of this. He got inspired by this combinatory initiative of art and science in Liter of Light to the point that he actively started going over to slum areas and installing these lights.

Sajjad Iqbal, Founder of Botol Bati. Photo Courtesy: The Daily Star

The global partner project of Liter of Light which Sajid heads is called ‘Botol Bati’ (Bottled Light). He, along with an electrician partner, installed 250 lights in 300 homes in a slum in the city’s Mirpur area. According to him, this saves 8.24 MW of electricity and 424 kg carbon emission monthly. Not only that, even people having legal electric connection could save expense by using this free light during daytime and only resorting to electric ones at night.

But initiating and making people interested in this idea was no easy task, one reason being the expense where each light costed around Tk. 220. Luckily, a German development co-operation agency called GIZ Bangladesh came forward to partner with Botol Bati, which helped to decrease the cost around 30 BDT per light.

There are also several drawbacks which inhibits a mass generation and use of these lights, as Sajid mentions. The project requires manpower who come mainly from slums, and so they need daily payment. Some of the materials are not easily available in Bangladesh, and though not a serious concern – some slum dwellers are found to feel more ‘poor’ in using plastic bottles as their source of light.For spreading this practice of using ‘Botol Bati’ more, Sajid is trying to make more partnerships who will help lessen the investment this project demands.

The idea of Botol Bati won second place as a social business plan at the South Asian Youth Leader’s Summit, and received a small grant from the US embassy for more feasibility research.

You will find Botol Bati’s facebook page here.

To know more about this project, you can watch this interview of Sajid:

Botol Bati was covered in various site, check them out:

The Daily Star | Next Billion | KhabarSouthAsia

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