Beyond its curricula

Muk Badhir Vidyalaya in Jawhar taluka, Thane district, Maharashtra is quite an unconventional school: the 55 tribal students on its rolls are all hearing-impaired. But ingenious use of alternate energy is what really sets this institution apart from other such schools; biogas plants, that run on seeds of locally available plants, supply Muk Badhir Vidyalaya's electricity requirements.

The idea is actually the brainchild of Hemant Thite of the Pune-based non-governmental organisation (ngo), Management of Alternate Energy Enterprises (manalee). L ast year, the Jawhar school sought his organisation's help in constructing a water harvesting structure. But a trip to the area convinced Thite that Jawhar had far more potential for an alternate energy project. He hit upon the idea of using seeds from the area's numerous karanj (Pongamia glabria), jatropha and mahua (Madhuca indica) plants to produce biogas. And, Muk Badhir Vidyalaya was quite amenable to the idea of setting up the alternative energy plants within its premises.
With local involvement The project was launched early this year and was completed in a month's time. The area's tribal population supplies raw materials for the biogas