Posted in communication and networking, education, music, Solar and Alternative Energy

Solar-Powered Punk

Courtesy of the Times of India, a story about a band from New York, called Solar Punch, that is all about promoting solar power. They use solar-powered instruments, get around in solar-powered vehicles, and even sing environmentally-friendly themed songs.

The Times of India covered the band as part of a tour in India promoting solar energy, called the “Climate Solutions Road Tour,” put on by the organization Indian Youth Climate Network. Apparently the crowd went WILD when they sang a popular pop song in Hindi. The band is schedule to perform at the Pune University campus on Friday, so if you’re in the area…

The article:
“Solar Powered and How”

PUNE: Solar Punch, a New York-based pop-rock band, powered completely by solar energy, had schoolchildren on their feet most of Thursday. They performed at the Kalmadi high school and Indira Gandhi Prathamik Shala in Aundh in the morning and at the Vidya Valley school in Sus gaon in the afternoon.

 

Playing on a 120 volts AC system, which was powered by just three, small, foldable solar mats, this unique band sang a string of songs all based on earth, environment and conservation to strongly drive home message of global warming to the young minds.

 

Playing under a warm 3 pm sun, the band belted out several foot-tapping compositions like Reflections on the Sea’, Spinning Around’, Sunset’, Hydrolise’ and Running Clean’. Children from three schools, Vidya Valley, Abhinava Vidyalaya and Bharati Vidyapeeth could not stop dancing. However, when singers James Dean and Alan Bigelow started singing the Hindi song, Yuheen Chala&’ from Bollywood film Swades,’ all hell broke loose. “We have been practicing this song for several months in New York,” grins Alan after the show.

 

The four-man band is part of a month long, Climate Solutions Road Tour’ covering 4,000 kms from Chennai to New Delhi via Pune, Goa and Mumbai. The tour is the brainchild of the newly-formed Delhi-based Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN), which has been busy finding solutions to climate change and global warming.

 

Interestingly, the 15-member team, which includes a multinational group of environmentalists, along with the solar band, are travelling in three battery and solar-powered cars, a jeep run solely on jatropha oil and a van, driven by Czech national Stanislav Miler, which runs on oil produced from vegetable waste.

 

Says Caroline Howe, a mechanical and environmental engineer and the Climate solutions coordinator of IYCN, “We have had many lectures and panel discussions on global warming. Now is the time for action. We decided to undertake the road tour because it is the longest road tour by an electric car in India and it drives home a strong environmental message.”

 

According to Caroline, the biggest challenge on the tour was to find the right places to recharge their car batteries. “We stopped at petrol stations, ironically during the diesel strike and recharged our batteries. The owners of the pumps told us that the day of the electric car had arrived!”

 

The IYCN, according to Caroline, was keen to communicate the message of energy conservation through music, song and dance. This was one reason, the event on Thursday, also had two groups from Shiamak Davar’s dance academy perform for the school children. One group was from the Shiamak’s special potential batch’, while the other came from two orphanages, Saraswati Anaathashram and Hope House trained by Shiamak’s team.

 

It was fitting therefore, that the road show, the solar rock band and the efforts of the young environmentalists was best exemplified by the evergreen hope song, “Aashayen&’ from the film Iqbal,’ which was performed so well by the Shiamak troupe.

 

The IYCN team will interact with the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Young Indians and University of Pune students at the Pune University campus on Friday.

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Author:

Beth Kelley is a writer and researcher with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.

One thought on “Solar-Powered Punk

  1. Very interesting indeed. I suppose bands and artists have always been at the forefront of change and revolution. This is also the case with environmental issues. However this is taking it to an all new level and really walking the walk instead of just talking about what should be done.

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