Two remote villages in neighbouring Thane district emerged out of darkness for the first time this Diwali, after they were electrified with the installation of a 2.5 kilo watts micro grid system. Sri Sri Rural Development Program (SSRDP) in collaboration with Rupantar Training and Consultancy brought solar electricity to Dapurmal and adjoining Khorgardwadi, literally lighting up the lives of 285 people there.
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“When we started working in the villages, we felt road connectivity and electricity were their biggest challenges. We immediately started looking for resources to help us implement this. We want to do this in many more such villages,” Snehal Naik, Director, Rupantar Training and consultancy said, in a short film made on the project.
Rupantar’s objective was to electrify the villages through solar micro grids and establish a self-driven system in the village for long-term maintenance. “Our team took the initiative to do solar electrification in the village just before Diwali. The team has brought electricity to many far-flung villages in India,” Rudresh Kumar Singh, Faculty, Art of Living said.
Deepak Sharma, Trustee, SSRDP said that the country cannot be developed unless basic amenities like electricity, water and toilets are given to the youth staying in remote villages. “The basic idea of SSRDP is to create sustainable infrastructure in villages so that the youth can take up entrepreneurial activities and sustain them,” he said.
He said the project in Dapurmal and Khorgarwadi went through five stages beginning with a baseline survey to identifying the needs of the villagers. Next came prioritising projects to be undertaken liaising with local government bodies. The next step was to raise funds through donors while creating awareness on social media. The fourth step featured community participation and ownership.
The final step was the installation of the set-up, he added. Baalu, a resident of Khorgharwadi village, said this was the first time the village was seeing light while all festivals in the past were celebrated in darkness. Ganpat Paradhi, another resident said, “Our children were used to either studying in candle light or diyas. We never had electricity in our younger days, atleast our children will be able to see light.”