Another First! Lucknow’s All-Women Mosque Goes Solar

In the face of air pollution and power cuts, one woman is taking a stand and going solar. 

2 min read

Meet Shaista Ambar, the founder of Lucknow’s first, all-women mosque. Shaista decided to establish the Ambar Mosque around 20 years ago, after she was denied permission to bring her son to pray at the local mosque because she was a woman.

For its 20th anniversary, the Ambar Mosque, located on Lucknow’s PGI road, became fully powered by solar energy. The move is a part of Shaista’s work to empower and educate women.

“The sun is a gift from Allah,” she says in Hindi, before listing out the numerous benefits of solar power.

A small panel is enough to light up the entire mosque. (Photo: Manon Verchot)
A small panel is enough to light up the entire mosque. (Photo: Manon Verchot)

Power cuts are a major issue for voters in Uttar Pradesh, according to Aarti Khosla, representing IndiaSpend, a data journalism initiative. Almost 40 percent of voters in Uttar Pradesh face power outages on a daily basis, a study by the organisation found.

IndiaSpend also found that around 97 percent of UP’s voters are in favour of implementing solar power if it would mean reducing air pollution levels – especially since it has the added benefit of reducing power cuts, Khosla said.

The inauguration of the Ambar Mosque solar project was attended by Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim religious leaders from around Lucknow. However, for Shaista, the solar panel is just the beginning. She plans to work to spread awareness about the benefits of solar energy among other communities.

Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj

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