Solar Soul Collective – Kheri

Home / Projects / Solar Soul Collective – Kheri


Solar Soul Collective (SSC) is a for-profit organization established to bring social impact projects to Lakhimpur Kheri, the largest district in Uttar Pradesh, India, which is situated on the border with Nepal. SSC collaborates with and provides leadership and direction to other social enterprises whose work aligns with the IEEE Smart Village’s (ISV) three strategic pillars: energy, education and enterprise. SCC and its partners implement this work throughout the region. The presented program fosters growth and self-reliance for the developing communities in the region, with energy and education as the two core components.

The project brings clean energy and quality education to the underserved communities of Lakhimpur Kheri and surrounding villages and towns. Clean and affordable electricity will spark local enterprise and boost education and vocational training to empower communities. The proposed pilot, with scope for further expansion, enables the communities to develop sustainable energy, enterprise and education to service their needs. The pilot project initiates a sustainable program that has the needs and aspirations of the communities at its heart. The first step of the program connects the communities to the global economy through distributed energy, digital technology training, education and proven business models. The empowerment of the local population creates opportunities for higher education, which in turn promotes socio-economic mobility. This system in conjunction with the community micro-business leads to the holistic development of the marginalized population.


Lakhimpur is marked by a low per capita income, a sixty percent literacy rate, and a large forest-dwelling tribal population. The National Government designated Lakhimpur eligible for a Regional Grant Fund Program. This status identifies the community as requiring urgent aid to improve living standards and amenities. Despite the recent labeling, not much has changed. Fifty-five percent of the population is below thirty, poorly educated and lacking skills that would make them eligible for fruitful employment. Farming, the traditional source of income for the community, is unable to offer financial stability and upward mobility. Basic services such as electricity, clean water, health clinics and schools are either non-existent or inadequate.

The presented program has broad local support and utilizes extensive field survey data that was collected by SCC-ISV volunteers. The chosen pilot communities are situated in remote, tribal regions; this choice maximizes the impact of the provided energy, education and enterprise.


The SSC mission utilizes a community-led empowerment approach that directly aligns with, and is inspired by ISV’s strategic goals. The promoters and directors of SSC are local leaders, doctors, members of Parliament, elected village representatives and community entrepreneurs who are all enthusiastically promoting this community, self empowerment program. Once the pilot phase is complete, SSC will utilize the experience and lessons learned to scale throughout the region.


The team is led by GS Dhillon ‘Georgie’, Founder & Director of Solar Soul Collective and a former elected President of the Village Development Block (VDB). Georgie successfully implemented several housing, education and other developmental projects during his tenure at VDB. He holds the distinction of setting up the first 5kW solar microgrid in an off-grid village in Lakhimpur. Both Deepa Goyal, an entrepreneur and Chartered Accountant, and Ishak Mohammad, a local elected village council representative, support SSC. Ravi Verma, member of the Upper House of Parliament, and Ravindra Nath, Cardiologist and Director of Health U.P, enthusiastically support SSC.


The pilot program establishes a microgrid and a mobile solar energy system that reach an approximate 3,000 direct beneficiaries.
A community welfare center with an online education and skill development platform creates the foundation for further outreach initiatives across the district. The community center is located inside a Tiger Reserve in the off-grid village of Surma in the Tharu tribal belt.
The new irrigation and milling units that SSC is commissioning will reduce dependency on diesel fuel. The e-transporters will improve connectivity, and increase access to both higher education and larger markets.

Women weavers and other self-help groups are collaborating with SSC to expand their own development initiatives throughout the region.
Once the pilot phase is proven successful, SSC will have the knowledge and capacity to expand their program to positively impact a substantial percentage of the 3.4 million people that inhabit Lakhimpur district and the surrounding areas. SSC is also actively researching the expansion of their program into Nepal. The long term development of the region will promote local enterprise, increase employment and well-being, and curb rural-to-city migration.

Technical Specifications & Resources

Specifications Technical Details
Year Started
PhotoVoltaic Systems, Educational Technology, Solar Panel Control Systems
Surma, Lakhimpur Kheri District, state of Uttar Pradesh, India