Renewable energy alternatives used by SEWA women in state received a thumbs up from 25 earthquake-affected Nepali women, who underwent a 15-day economic rehabilitation and reconstruction training with SEWA. Inspired by Surendrana- gar’s salt farmers who use low-cost solar pumps under SEWA’s project “Hariyali” is Chandra Chaya Fuyal (42) who wants to replicate it back home. Similarly, Hera Devi Dangol from Khokana swears by the health benefits of the smokeless e-stove which she plans to take back to the traditional Newari cafe back home run by 55 women and introduce a few Indian dishes too. The group also plans to take back 4 e-stoves to Nepal.
Hailing from SAARC Business Association of Home-based workers (SABAH) network in Nepal, the women visited its community learning and resource centres in Gujarat for lessons on disaster preparedness, mitigation and leadership skills. They visited the SEWA museum and community facilitation centre in Radhanpur town in Patan district, its eco-tourism site at Ganeshpura in Mehsana district and the salt pan workers in Surendranagar and also heard stories of SEWA members who survived the 2001 Gujarat earthquake.
“The genesis of SEWA trade facilitation centre model grew out of the 2001 earthquake where close to 15,000 artisans in Kutch and Patan districts were given economic rehabilitation. Two such teams with quake survivors from Patan, Surendranagar districts were also sent to Nepal post-2015 earthquake to help in the economic rehabilitation of SABAH Nepal members,” said Reema Nanavaty, chairperson of SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre.
Subhadra Giri, a textile worker whose house was damaged in the Nepal quake says, “From the training here I learnt to make earthquake-proof homes and lessons to survive a quake.” Sharda Thaguna (22) from Dharchula, who is studying to be a teacher, plans to start a traditional community museum in Nepal to preserve cultural artefacts and Nepali heritage.