The TrickyScribe: With a view to promoting soot-free inexpensive lighting alternative to those dwelling in 5 laggard states, the Indian government is back with a scheme of providing as many as 70 lakh solar study lamps across five states. These are the states with least levels of rural household electrification.
That apart, the scheme also aims at incorporating local all-women self-help groups (SHGs) whose members are to be trained to assemble solar study lamps, distribute them to underprivileged students who do not have access to electricity. The SHGs will also provide post-sales services for the solar lamps distributed as part of the campaign.
Off-grid solutions aim at empowering the local women and provide a reliable source of electricity for school-going kids so they can study and progress well. It will help in integrating the marginalized sections of society with the mainstream.
Union power minister RK Singh, who also holds the new & renewable energy portfolio, on Saturday inaugurated an assembly and distribution centre for solar study lamps at Mahuli village in Ara and also remotely laid the foundation for a photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing plant in Sherghati, Gaya located 140km south of Bihar capital, Patna.
First of its kind in Bihar, the solar PV module manufacturing plant will be entirely owned and operated by local women SHG Federations. Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) have been duly signed between the Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society (BRLPS) – JEEViKA, IIT-Bombay and Cluster Level Federation of women SHG members.
READ MORE: Earth sciences no longer boring! #SOS
Initiating ambitious Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (GSA), Singh flagged off the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) van from Ara which will travel across Bihar, distributing LED bulbs and spreading awareness about energy efficiency and energy conservation. Find the list of activities under the GSA here.
As part of this initiative, 16,000 Indian villages with a significantly large number of low-income households will be able to buy LED bulbs for a subsidized price of Rs 50 under the UJALA programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Singh reiterated government’s commitment to providing round-the-clock power supply to all. Singh said ‘Saubhagya’ aims at providing electrical connection to every Indian household by December come.
It may be mentioned here Gram Swaraj Abhiyan was launched to promote social harmony and apprise rural communities of various government welfare schemes and initiatives. The campaign is scheduled to be implemented between April 14 and May 5 in 16,000 villages across the country.