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Chennai, Aug. 25 The India chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) and The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), headed by Dr Rajendra Pachauri, have embarked on a communications programme to create awareness about the huge problem where about 400 million Indians or 78 million families have no access to electricity. This compromises their basic standards of living, employment, education, health and safety.

Dr Pachauri heads the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the Nobel prize.

TERI, with its technical partners, has developed a cost-effective, rechargeable solar lantern that could provide clean lighting to 78 million deprived households.

According to an official statement, the IAA, with the support of the communications industry, aims to appeal to millions of citizens and corporate bodies in India to partner in the initiative by contributing towards the cost of one or more solar lanterns.

The IAA would invite advertising agencies and creative people from all over the country to submit creative proposals to make this dream a reality. The winning entry would get large-scale publicity with the help of media houses, the statement said.

Unique initiative

Mr Pradeep Guha, President, India chapter of IAA, and Vice-President & Area Director, Asia-Pacific, said: “This initiative is unique in its scale. It will place on display not just the creative genius of the advertising industry but also its heart.”

Currently, about 4,000 million litres of inefficient kerosene is burnt as a substitute to electricity. This is largely imported, heavily subsidised and spews over 24 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air.

The IAA is a strategic partnership, which addresses the common interests of all the disciplines across the full spectrum of marketing communications, from advertisers to media companies, agencies and direct marketing firms, as well as individual practitioners.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 26, 2008)
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