AA group of children are playing on the path in front of the house, some are flying a kite. The farmer Usha Baen grabs a broom and climbs up a narrow wooden staircase onto the roof. From above, the view goes past the children’s kite over the village in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The houses stick out of the ground like building blocks.
But the eye-catcher are the bluish solar cells, which are in the sun on all neighboring roofs and which are still a rather unusual sight in rural India. Usha Baen also has three solar panels oriented diagonally towards the sun. The farmer’s wife pulls out the broom and begins brushing off the sand that has collected on the surface of the solar cells. Then she wipes it off with a brightly colored cloth. “When they’re clean, more electricity is generated,” says the 40-year-old mother of six, who grows garlic, onions and cilantro outside of the village. “We used to pay 800 to 900 rupees a month for electricity, now nothing at all. We save money because we don’t have to spend anything on electricity,” says the farmer’s wife.