January 13 2018

Balwan Chantyal: Our Solar Power Partner

A broad smile lights up the face of a man who helps spread light to some of Nepal’s most remote villages.

Balwan Chantyal is the director of Ulyalo Ghar, our partner in Nepal for solar power installation who will train our women solar technicians.  He recently told us how his experience as a poor child from the Himalayan mountains grew into a deep personal commitment driving his tireless efforts.

How did you get involved with solar electricity?

I grew up in a small village in the Himalayan mountains. At 2220 meters above sea level, our winters were long and filled with snow. We had a small house with very few possessions, grew all our own food, and walked everywhere because there were no roads.

When I was young, the United Nations came to my village as part of a development program. They trained me and others to install solar panels, which completely transformed my life and the lives of the people of my village.

I became committed to bringing light to others. I worked all over the country in the field of solar electricity, and a few years ago I started my own organization to share what I had learned. To date, I have trained nearly 1,000 solar technicians and have brought light to over 4,000 homes.

Why did you decide to work with Karuna-Shechen?

It is important to develop solutions that work with the specific needs of each community, rather than to make decisions at a corporate level and apply them to everyone. Karuna-Shechen understands this and works with me to adapt equipment to best serve the villages.

What is your advice to young people in remote villages in Nepal?

I encourage young people from remote mountain regions to become social entrepreneurs like me. Work hard and know that, with a little patience and perseverance, it is possible.

Technicians trained by Balwan Chantyal install solar systems:

Our solar lighting systems:

Learn more about one of our initiatives to bring solar light to remote villages, and how you can help!