IIT professor Charu Monga designs solar LED backpacks for children of the Northeast living in areas without electricity

Mad4Change By Harshita Singh | 1 min read

Charu Monga

Many children living in the northeast region face various difficulties because of the unavailability of electricity. Going out in the evening, playing, and studying proves to be difficult for the children living in the northeast region.

Today we will cover the inspirational story of Charu Monga. She created Solar backpacks for these children and made their lives better.

Interaction With Children of Northeast

Charu Monga is a professor at IIT, Guhawati. She works at the Department of Design and Visual communication. The idea came to her mind when she was traveling the northeast region to conduct workshops. During these workshops, she interacted with students of different villages to understand their problems. The children told Charu Monga that the early sunset and unavailability of electricity made going out and coming back in the dark difficult. She thought of solutions for the same.

Image Source – Facebook

Idea of The Solar Backpacks

Charu realized installing lights in every street is not possible. Charu Monga came up with the idea of Solar backpacks. She has designed over 200 backpacks for children. The bags have a solar panel connected to them, which in turn are connected to LED lights. The Solar bag packs are suitable for children belonging to the remote, hilly, and unelectrified parts of the nation.

Image Source – Twitter

Features of The Solar Backpack

The bags are made from recycled plastic and are waterproof. The LED lights in the bag keep light for several hours, even when the sunlight is not available. The bag is made in such a way that lights won’t get detached even if the children roll, run and play. Whenever the LED lights are exposed to sunlight, they recharge themselves. They kept the colors bright so that people can identify the backpack at night.

Image Source – Twitter

Advantages of The Backpack

The solar backpacks help children to walk on hilly terrain and return during the evening from school or after meeting friends. It also allows children to study during the night at home, even when electricity is not available. The backpack is known by the name of Jugnu. During an interview, professor Charu mentioned:

“The name Jugnu was not planned by me. The children looked at the backpack and said that it looked like a firefly. This is how the bag got its name.”

Charu Monga
Image Source – Facebook


The backpack comes with a lab kit. The lab kit comprises VR headsets, team building material, DIY material, educational games, and more. The aim behind providing the material is to encourage creativity among children. The idea is to make the children self-sufficient so that in the future they can come up with innovative ideas and solve such community problems.

Charu Monga
Image Source – Facebook

To know more about Charu Monga, please check Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you know more inspirational stories about a person, company, new idea, or social initiative, and want us to write it on mad4india.com, share such information with us on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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