A group of women, mostly belonging to tribal communities and associated with self-help groups (SHGs) at Aheri in Gadchiroli district, will soon steer a private limited company producing solar panels, officials said.
The project, set to take off by May at a proposed plant at Aheri, will be the second project in the country to be run by women’s SHGs — the first such project is operational at Dongalpur in Rajasthan.
Collector Shekhar Singh said the project will be anchored by Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission (MSRLM), while the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, will provide it with technical support.
The project, he said, is expected to provide direct employment to around 80-100 women, who will be trained by experts from IIT-M. “About 700 women, each contributing a share capital of Rs 1,000, will be part of this venture. We have already formed three cooperative societies of women from three cluster-level federations of SHGs,” Singh said.
The process of forming the company with a Board of Directors is also underway, he said. The Collector said the project envisaged production of sub-100 megawatt solar panels.