Lanterns are a basic form of lighting that has been used for many hundreds of years. They are widely used as alternatives to candles in today’s modern age. It is estimated that in India alone, about 60 percent of rural households use kerosene lanterns for lighting their home. Though India is well connected to electric grid, many parts of the country have frequent and lengthy power cuts. These power shortages would affect more in summer and more so in the village and tribal areas. When we were growing we had to go through the same scenario more often. We used to light up the lanterns when there was power outage. It would be difficult for the women folk to take care of their household work, and as children it was difficult for us to concentrate on our studies in the dim light. We used to plan ahead and manage some part of the work during day time, but have bright light gives brighter sight to perform our activities. Cleaning the glass domes, maintaining the wick and kerosene for emergencies was a regular duty of my mother. Kerosene lamps were not only expensive but they were also inefficient and dangerous. Gradually battery powered lanterns entered the households, but huge population cannot not afford. In developed countries we see different kinds of lanterns with decorative accents. Last week, I was seeing a documentary about solar lanterns, with the countries natural and abundant sunshine solar lanterns could be a practical and clean energy alternative to kerosene lamps in village communities. Today these lanterns are widely used for the excellent ambiance.
"I have a lantern. You steal my lantern. What, then, is your honour worth no more to you than the price of my lantern?”