Mani the Electrician (middle of photo with son on shoulders)
I’ve gotten to know Mani, a local electrician who’s been working on the Sadhana Forest solar panels for several years. He wires our main hut and kitchen for lights, he maintains our bicycle generators that we use during monsoon, and recently he rigged up a music box that plays to alert us when our water tank is overflowing. He’s in his early thirties, married, living with his wife’s family. He has a 3 year-old son and new twin girls. When the twins were born we were one of the first places he called. We went rushing over with gifts and love and spent time caring for the twins while the family rested (and made us dinner even though we protested). In true Indian style they watched us eat and then ate after us, thanking us for eco-diapers and homemade stuffed animals and homemade cards that said “congratulations!” in Tamil.