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Short Essay On A Day Without Electricity

The world is changing rapidly. From the Stone Age to the Iron Age today we are living in an ultra-modern era where things we never imagined earlier have become vital necessities in our life. For example, light in those ages was to be got only from sun for a limited part of the day. But now we have electricity for all-time use. Thanks to Thomas Alva Edison who by inventing electricity illuminated the whole world. Now we can’t think of life without electricity. In big cities everything depends upon it. We find ourselves completely paralyzed whenever there is power failure in our area. Electricity provides all the comforts of life and life would be completely different in its absence.

We would have to use earthen lamps, lanterns or candle light instead of electric bulbs and tubes like now. If there would have been no electricity, people would not have so many luxuries like coolers, air conditioners, refrigerators, room-heaters and other electric appliances. The kitchen would not have been so well-equipped. The medical field would not have been so rich if  there were no electricity. We would not have the facilities of x-ray, heart-surgery and electric treatment. As a result, the patients would  have to bear the heat of summer and cold of winter  along with their medical problems.

Festivals especially Diwali would not have been so bright with a series of  bulbs sans electricity. The shopping centers nowadays attract people with their colorful lights. And when we enter there, it seems as if we have entered a fairy land. In case there was no electricity we would not have the glamour that is there nowadays. In earlier days, people had to work hard no matter if in scorching heat or in biting cold, if they did not have the boon of electricity. Instead of electric fans, people would have been using hand fans for getting relief from heat.

And what is more, if there were no electricity, there would have been no cinemas, no radios, not televisions, no computers and no internet. Life would have not been the same sans these things. It is the age of science and technology which gives employment to many. In absence of electricity, we would not have known about them. Our civilization would not have flourished so much and so rapidly without electricity. Our transportation system is also based on electricity to a great extent and in case of no electricity, we would not have enjoyed the fast journey by electric trains. Railway stations would have been turned into dark ,dull places. Needless to say that now a days these are the most attractive venues with all time activity and credit goes to electricity. Our industries are in existence only due to electricity. If it were not there, people would have been unaware of industrialization.

Thus, electricity has become the basic need of our life. There is no exaggeration if we say that where there is light there is life. But we should value it as a resource that has to be used carefully and wisely not to be taken as a complete boon.


By:  Ammara Siddique


Ammara Siddique

University of Michigan ONE Campus volunteer Sara Isaac decided to go 24 hours without using electricity. What she found surprised and frustrated her, and gave her the motivation to keep speaking out about the millions of people who still do not have access to energy. 

I pulled open the shades and let the sunlight pour into my dorm room. “I can use natural light for a solid 10 hours, so this won’t be too bad,” I thought. My plan was to go without electricity for 24 hours to better empathize with the 7 in 10 people in sub-Saharan Africa experiencing energy poverty every day.

Giving up 24 hours of electricity didn’t seem like a big sacrifice, considering that 90 million sub-Saharan African children live without reliable electricity each day. I wanted to do this to inspire other students to support the Electrify Africa Act, a bill that could bring power to 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. 

I’d planned those 24 hours to a tee: I would spend the first three or four hours doing all of the reading I’d fallen behind on, then I would have a couple of hours to myself to get philosophical and introspective, and then I’d knock on my hall-mates’ doors and we’d go for a walk. The final few hours would be spent sleeping.

Unfortunately nothing went according to plan.

Usually, I eat a Greek yogurt for breakfast. It dawned on me the morning of this challenge, however, that I wouldn’t be able to eat yogurt because preserving it required refrigeration. Instead, I opted for a whole wheat bagel with almond butter.

After breakfast came schoolwork. I had hundreds of pages of reading, multiple assignments, and scholarship applications to complete. I started by sifting through stacks of notes on my desk and scribbling words onto notebook paper. It was all going really well until I started writing an essay for a public policy course I’m taking. Like everyone else I know, I always type my essays.

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Naturally, I grabbed my laptop. But I quickly realized that I couldn’t use it. Instead, I picked up a notebook and a pencil and proceeded to handwrite the two-page essay, (I figured I could type that up the next day, anyway). Three and a half hours later, frustrated and discouraged, I put the notebook down. I was finally done. It took me more than two hours longer to write and cite that essay than it would have if I had access to a laptop.

Over the course of the day, several of my friends knocked on my door. “Where have you been?! I’ve been calling you all day!” I explained that I couldn’t charge my phone or use it to communicate with them, so I shut it off.

This proved dangerous later on, as I ran a few miles around Ann Arbor. It was dark outside and, in my zeal to understand what sub-Saharan women experience when walking at night, I purposefully ran on streets with dim and sparse streetlights.

I was lucky enough to have a friend accompany me, but not all sub-Saharan women are so fortunate. I was afraid, hyper-cautious and annoyed that I couldn’t be with my own thoughts on what could have potentially been a great run.

But that’s what this experience was all about: potential–wasted potential, specifically.

After eating raw fruits and vegetables for dinner, (I couldn’t eat the oven-roasted chicken the dining hall was serving, as good as it looked), I ended my ONE day without electricity thinking about all of the things I could have accomplished that day: editing and finalizing my public policy essay, submitting two or three scholarship applications, finding an apartment to live in next year, checking the answers to my statistics homework, downloading the study guide and preparing for my psych exam. The list is endless.

Instead, I sat in the dark, irritated, until I finally called it quits and shut my eyes at 8 p.m.

Without electricity, I was unproductive and powerless. The point is, I’m just one person who didn’t fulfill her potential in a single, 24-hour period. It’s about time we think about the 589 million Africans who don’t fulfill their potential and endure hardship every single day because of energy poverty.

Do you think you could live a day without power? Share your thoughts in a comment below.


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