As a basketball fan, it dawned on me that we could use this game, powered by our LED lighting and solar-powered technologies, to improve the lives of people in impoverished villages, starting with my home country of Pakistan.
Torrance, CA (PRWEB) October 09, 2013
Today, America’s LEDtronics®, Inc., http://www.ledtronics.com, announced the success of their Barefoot Basketball Program, a nation-building initiative through team sports. The charitable program provides basketball half-courts with solar-powered LED lighting to rural, poverty-stricken villages worldwide. So far, over 300 families have benefited from the initial program with new opportunities to better their health, education, income, team-building, and more.
After sunset, hundreds of families in the poorest-of-the-poor areas of Pakistan have no light for cooking, studying, working, traveling to see friends and family, etc. These conditions are leading their displaced youths towards drugs, gangs and crime. Pervaiz Lodhie, LED lighting pioneer and CEO of LEDtronics, decided to do something about it.
“As a basketball fan, it dawned on me that we could use this game, powered by our LED lighting and solar-powered technologies, to improve the lives of people in impoverished villages, starting with my home country of Pakistan,” states Lodhie. “Basketball is easy to learn, requires a small area and keeps the players and spectators constantly interacting with each other.”
To bring the communities together and empower the children to lead healthier lives and stay out of trouble, Lodhie worked with Masood Lohar, United Nations Pakistan Country Director, and Shahid Siddique, plant manager at Shaan Technologies (a division of LEDtronics), to start the project in May 2012.
“Initially, I was very cynical about the program and thought it was not going to work, but then I realized that this kind of sport, where team spirit is encouraged and is a different kind of sport paradigm, is really going to attract the young population here is Pakistan,” states Lohar.
“The idea behind the basketball courts was to encourage the youth of rural Pakistan with values like teamwork and physical exercise, instead of heading down the wrong path towards drugs, gangs and crime,” states Siddique.
The first court was installed in an open area in the Sindh province devastated by flooding and monsoon rains. Villagers cleared away the brush and added chalk lines to form a half-court. A basketball hoop was provided, along with jerseys for each of the village teams. Employees from Shaan Technologies provided some instruction as basketball is a new game for the people of this area. Children from Deenar Khan Talpur District Badin and Ramzan Mallah, Mithi3, Sindh, picked up the sport right away, and all of the villagers participated in the game.
From this success, half-courts with two solar-powered LED floodlights were added to: Deenar Khan Talpur District Badin; Ramzan Mallah, Mithi3, Sindh; Sarwari Islamia Collage, Hala Sindh; Government Girls Secondary School Hala Old, Sindh; and Umar Jat, Shahbandar Thatta. A grand tournament of Barefoot Basketball teams from the five locations is scheduled for December 2013.
Solar-Powered, LED Lit Courts Become Nation-Building Meeting Place
Unexpectedly, Barefoot Basketball has turned into much more than a game. “The lights that we implemented were meant for the Barefoot Basketball courts, but technically, they have become a meeting point for all of the community members,” states Lohar. “Now, children read and do their homework, elders discuss various matters, and women do embroidery and complete their chores under the cool light at the basketball courts.”
“I personally feel that this initiative directly or indirectly helps in better interaction among the different clans who normally avoid contact, thus working as a catalyst for nation-building,” states Siddique. “I know a boy who started making basketball hoops, and later, Shaan Technologies purchased a few hoops from him for other projects.”
According to Lodhie, this is now a “feel-good program” that is needed in many parts of the world. “It’s about the opportunity to have these children start thinking positively from always being negative. There is no value you can place on the children’s and parent’s faces that I saw during my time in Pakistan, and I now have the desire to do a lot more.”
To learn more about the Barefoot Basketball program, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zif9SLxdNnE.
About LEDtronics, Inc.
The pioneer of LED lighting, Pervaiz Lodhie, founded LEDtronics, Inc. in 1983 with his wife Almas. Since then, LEDtronics, Inc. has been the leader in designing and manufacturing environmentally-friendly, low-power usage, long-life LED bulbs and LED lamps to replace incandescent bulbs. The company is certified as a Minority-Owned Small Business and has grown into one of the world’s leading suppliers of innovative LED lights, lamps, clusters and arrays. LEDtronics now employs over 300 people with sales representatives worldwide and prides itself on delivering LED lighting solutions and products of consistently high quality to exceed customer expectations. For more information, call us at (800) 579-4875 or visit ledtronics.com.
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For technical information or custom design and/or manufacturing needs, contact: Jordon Papanier at 310-534-1505.
Media Contact: Melanie Rembrandt, Rembrandt Communications®, media(at)ledtronics(dot)com, 800-PR1-0116