— Shama Bibi, who lives in a village outside Bahawalpur in Pakistan, on what solar-powered light has meant for her. She and women in 150 off-grid villages across Pakistan work with the Buksh Foundation to install solar charging stations and rent solar lights to local residents. Plans are in place to reach 4,000 villages by 2017. Gul Muhammad, a farmer in the village outside Bahawalpur, says solar has allowed him to cut his kerosene use and save 350 rupees ($3) a month. With portable light, “I can now work three to four hours extra on my farmland,” he said. “And this is helping increase my income too.” Nearly half of households in Pakistan are not connected to the grid, the large majority are in rural areas. VIA THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION (Photo: Buksh Foundation)

Last year was a breakthrough year for solar in the Middle East.
Through expanding solar, India to "address the social problems that restrict development in rural areas."