Six families in Goregaon’s Kasturi Apartment are counting every unit of electricity by checking the meter almost daily since June. "Inflation has left everyone high and dry. This is just one way to save money," says one of the residents.
Deepak Sahewal, a collegian who lives in the neighbourhood, has ‘adopted’ all these families to help them save energy.
Travel agent Amin Shaikh, a Mira Road resident, says, "Our June bill was Rs1,226. Despite the austerity measures, the July bill was Rs1,353. But then, the August bill was Rs1,157 and September Rs1,100. So, I am happy." The family of six doesn’t forget to unplug TV and computer when not in use. Also, they are using CFL bulbs and have stopped overusing the geyser.
The Shaikhs are following the tips of Saher Shaikh, a first-year commerce student of Thakur College in Kandivli. Saher has adopted the Shaikhs and other six families since June under the project ‘Save electricity’. Over 50 NSS students of her college have signed up for this project and adopted seven families each in their neighbourhood.
The students note down the families’ monthly bills, audit electrical appliances and usage, and give tips on how to save energy.
They visit every month to check if their suggestions are being followed. Amazingly, half of the 350 adopted households have managed to curtail their energy expenses.
Saher, who is also the project coordinator, says, "We are happy that at least three to four people out of seven have managed to do so."
Sushil Shinde, NSS coordinator for the western suburbs, Mumbai University, says: "By next month, 2,000 students from 65 colleges will be working under this project. Our target is to encourage every home to save at least 15-20 units a month — 2.1 lakh to 2.8 lakh units for all 14,000 homes approached by students."