Natural Resource Management

We express our gratitude to MISEREOR, Germany for supporting this project.

SKC's Project on Solar renewable energy is a viable step towards seeking alternative energy solutions to address the most pressing problem of lack of electricity in eleven villages of Dantan block in Medinipur. Introducing solar lanterns in place of kerosene lamps has ushered in a new era of development in these villages. Children who earlier studied under the little light of kerosene lamps inhaling toxic fumes thus risking their health can now study effectively under the bright and clean light of solar lanterns. It has also opened up new avenues for youth employment by skill based training to assemble these solar lanterns. This project will indeed play a promising role in improving the social lives of the people in these villages.

Achievements

- Our NRM project includes 9 Panchayats in 11 villages and 911 families and the total population is 4676 in Dantan 1. Within a short span of five months (November 2011- March 2012) we managed to cover 5 Panchayats in 5 villages where 247 families benefited from our effort
- Unemployed youth who are trained to assemble the lanterns are employed and financially independent
- The marginalized families who use solar lanterns save on cost of buying kerosene which helps them in other family expenses
- The saved kerosene oil is used to pump water and run generators.
- Children can now study effectively
- The solar lanterns are also used during social gatherings, small traders/shop owners etc.
CASE STUDY
Rabindra Parriya is a farmer from Palsandapur village. He owns a small piece of land and grows paddy on it. Rabindra and his wife also work as daily labourers. They have three school–going children. Their village has no electricity and so they use kerosene to burn lamps, cooking stoves and other household work that requires kerosene.

In February 2012, Rabindra bought a solar lantern at a subsidized rate of Rs. 1350 which has now turned into a good investment for his family. His family's dependence on kerosene for energy needs has reduced considerably. Now the children are able to spend more time on their studies. The white light illuminates a larger area so the children do not need to huddle around the lamp. Rabindra was able to save 4 litres of kerosene oil in the first month and sold it for Rs. 180/-!

The money that he saved was used to buy other necessary items for his family. His neighbor also regularly borrows the solar lantern from Rabindra on rent and pays Rs. 75/- each time. This is the story of all the families who have wisely invested in a solar lantern. They have experienced the benefits of using clean and natural energy and have also saved money!