Prof. Gayathri Manikutty

Vice Chair, IEEE SIGHT Kerala

Asst. Professor, Ammachi labs, Amritapuri

"LUMEN project was a maker-centred service-learning program funded by IEEE EPICS. The last two and half days before the project inauguration was like a Makeathon when thirty IEEE student members and seven IEEE Young Professionals (YPs) came together at the project site. The task was to install and commission ten 20W LED street lamps spread across the 300-meters run at Mangalath colony (a tribal colony) in Avoly Gram panchayat, Muvattupuzha, Kerala. Together, everyone assembled all the street lights from scratch (from cutting steel rods and fixing them on the poles to hold the LED lights, welding the rods, painting the poles, breaking the concrete road to route the wires and re-concreting to finish up everything, making the battery bank, and doing the wiring to connect the solar panel to the poles). In short, it was a fantastic technology-based community service learning opportunity for the students under the mentorship of the YPs.

And in two days, we installed and commissioned all the ten street lamps over the 300 m stretch of road leading to the tribal colony. Such an experiential learning program was a powerful lived experience for everyone involved. It helped build the student's self-esteem and developed a can-do attitude for real-life problem-solving. Girls rubbed shoulders with boys as equals, actively participating in every aspect of the project. As a faculty member, it was overwhelming to watch and learn from the youngsters how to make community service a joyful team-building event. And the glowing faces and pure happiness on the faces of the tribal community members when the street lights came on were truly priceless. "

Pravitha P

Team Member, LUMEN

College of Engineering Vadakara

LUMEN as the name conveys lightened the mind that was moving into darkness. While considering the technical side of me as an electronics student this gave me the confidence to work and experience everything with which I get interacted without any fear. Apart from the technical side, every one of us gained knowledge which is useful for our daily life basis. The main highlights of the online as well as the offline side of this project such as welding, cutting, designing, battery-pack modelling, painting and even travelling, have given me a bunch of friends for a lifetime.

Every moment of those 3 days was of sumptuous worth. We had a lot of funny, serious and best moments in this short time. It could be a major missing for me If I have not been a part of this team and it is indeed one of the best teams I have ever met to date. Each one of the team was inspiring in one or the other ways. All the mentors, our 'Ettans' crew and Gayathri mam will be forever in our memories.

LUMEN cannot simply be described by words, it has to be experienced!

Madhav Nair

Team Member, LUMEN

NSS College of Engineering Palakkad

"Tamaso ma Jyotirgamaya"

That’s how I will describe LUMEN. Literally, it guided us from darkness to light. As a 2nd year Electrical student, I never had a practical experience except for the rush hours of labs. I joined IEEE in the first year itself as I was interested in doing humanitarian activities but this was the first time I got to do a hands-on project for the same. It started with cutting GI pipes for the enclosure and got a chance to study welding and painting as well. Day 2 was the implementation of the project. From painting the poles to cutting concrete and wiring the lines, everything was hands-on. The entire work was done by the team, shedding light for Mangalath Colony. Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya- "lead me from darkness to light". And justice is done for each word.

Tomin Bejoy

Team Member, LUMEN

Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering and Technology

LUMEN not only lightened the path to the Mangalath colony, but it also lightened the hearts of the people living and the team behind it. From the workshop sessions to assembling street lights been a prodigious journey where I met a crew of people with a passionate mindset and true potential. With the proper mentoring and guidance we all managed to complete the project implementation through cutting, welding, painting and so on. Even though there had been quite a rainfall during the process of streetlight assembly we all did the work with adequate perfection and unity. The implementation only lasted for 3 days but we all have become a family where all cherished and made some core memories with our 'Ettans' and all other team members.

At the end of the day, it cornered us to a moment where all our hard work was truly worthy when everyone saw those happy faces of people in the colony filled with enthusiasm and hope when we illuminated the lights. Those were the moments which truly lightened up who we are.

"We are LUMEN"

Anupama AB

Team Member, LUMEN

SOE, Cochin University of Science and Technology

Lumen was my first IEEE project. And I definitely couldn't have asked for a better one. Whether it be in terms of purpose, work, teammates, or place everything was just the best. The purpose of Lumen was to basically set up street lamps for Mangalath Colony residents, where it gets pitch dark at night due to all the Rubber trees which surround the area and they had only one street light for that entire path all these years.

Usually in projects like this, the delegates are just made to fix up all the necessary components which would be already brought readymade from shops. But LUMEN was totally different. Here all the major components of the project were either made or assembled completely by the team. In order to prepare us for this 3-day execution, we were given a few online and offline workshops beforehand. Another major part which makes LUMEN stand out is everyone on the team worked without any gender bias. Everyone held heavy equipment, painted poles, did battery modelling, dug up roads, fixed conduits, wired up lamps and cleaned up. Many of us were holding grinding and welding machines for the first time but we felt confident as we knew we had the best team to back us up. Am glad that I got selected for this project cause if I would've just sat in my regular class mugging up the theory I would have missed this top-notch hands-on project. And the way the core team arranged, executed and taught us every single step is quite commendable. These experiences, networking and exposure are definitely going to help us all in the future.

When the lamps turned on for the first time, I got goosebumps Thank you team for connecting me with all the best future engineers, making me realise what it feels when an engineer actually works for their society, upholding the vision of IEEE and this memorable experience which I won't ever forget.

Rima Sidique

Team Member, LUMEN

SOE, Cochin University of Science and Technology

LUMEN was luminous in all sense - it did provide hope and smiles to many innocent faces, it taught us humanity still exists if humans can step up with elite minds and kind hearts.

It was my first offline hands on project to be involved. And as it's always said well begun is half done. This project did not merely light up a remote village over a span of 300 metres but it did also light up a new path for me. Being an IT student, I would never have got to do what I did without LUMEN. For the first time in forever I did welding, grinding, drilling and even designed a whole battery pack from scratch! Till then all I knew was to buy a battery and fit it for the purpose, I couldn't even imagine me connecting carefully each cells with wires, dealing with the bms and at the time of checking the continuity & working...Boom! Nope it did blow up but blowed up my mind cause finally I could do it with my team! Thanks and kudos to the whole team for baking up such wonderful memories and this team wouldn't be complete without the amazing set of 'Ettans' along with Gayathri ma'am.

Personally I'll say I have had a great experience. It wasn't a story of 3 days but a whole year of planning, 3 online workshops, an offline workshop... but what we finally saw the gathering of materials, the arrangement of poles and street lights all happened in 3 days - that was only possible because of the strong mindsets and dedication of the whole team. Nothing was a hurdle be it rain or darkness or gender disparity... All we had is one goal - TO MAKE LUMEN HAPPEN. At this point, LUMEN is something so huge that I'm so sure it'll never fail the ignition we had in our hearts - never and ever. I feel so glad to be part of such a team and I wish more and more LUMEN like projects to come in future so that the spark gets spread across the whole world!

Amruth P

Delegate, LUMEN Workshop

Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology Kottayam

It was just another IEEE event for me when got the poster. But through those online and offline sessions, LUMEN became that light to guide me from the preconceived notion of the event. It was not just a project to bring light to a group of people of the Mangalath colony but also an opportunity to seek the light and find a new team that can guide us to new heights. Thank you Team LUMEN for such a wonderful opportunity!