On the occasion of International Women's Day, Samsung India has announced that it plans to distribute 10,000 solar lanterns to underprivileged girl students in government schools in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The devices are expected to help the children study during long periods of power outages that are still fairly common in many of the poorer states around the country, especially in the rural areas. According to Samsung, the lanterns, which carry a three-year warranty, are approved by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and feature a solar panel that will allow them to be charged without having to plug them into a traditional wall socket. The initiative is being undertaken by the South Korean company in partnership with the India chapter of U.K.-based non-profit organization, Charities Aid Foundation.
The program will only begin at the end of this month, but Samsung will be hoping that the initiative will showcase its support for gender diversity in some of the most notoriously patriarchal regions of the country. In a statement released to the press, the vice president of Samsung India, Mr. Deepak Bhardwaj, expressed his support for the initiative, saying that small steps like this to help educate girls in the country could go a long way towards helping them grow up to be role-models for the next generation. According to him, "Education of the girl child is a key priority and through this initiative we want to reach out and light up the education of 10,000 girl students. This initiative is a small step towards helping these young girls grow up to become individual role-models".
Samsung hopes to gain some goodwill through this gesture at a time when the company is embattled with allegations of gross corruption and bribery in its home country. The consumer electronics giant has been going through a massive turmoil over the past few months because of corruption-related investigations that have already resulted in the arrest of its chief executive. With the Galaxy S8 expected to be launched later this month, Samsung will be hoping that the device will finally bring it some much needed positive press after months of controversies and unfavorable reports in the global media. The South Korean consumer electronics giant was originally expected to unveil its upcoming flagship at the recently-concluded MWC 2017, but the company has now announced that it will host a separate event on March 29 to officially reveal the new phone.