Bara phool is a nucleated village on the banks of river Sutlej, Rupnagar comprising more than 400 families in residential proximity. The dwellers are immigrant farmers and daily wage workers from U.P and Bihar whose average family income is a meagre Rs 5000 month. The village lacks basic conveniences like electricity, education, sanitation and health care facilities putting their very chances of development at peril. To address their interlinked problems the project is aligned with a motive to solve their electricity needs through sustainable Solar Energy solutions which will have a cascading effect on their day today life. For the past 40 years, they have been living in the heart of darkness with little or no supply of electricity. The entire village still remains far from being electrified and the residents use kerosene lamps and car batteries to light up their dark laden homes. To then charging their mobile phone became a great deal as they shed Rs 100 every month to get it charged in a nearby store which clearly shows their untold miseries. The conventional solutions they resort to not only proved to be expensive but also environmentally frail. One attention deserving consequence of not having an electricity supply was that student fraternity of the community is unable to study post dusk. Added to that, kerosene lamps have long term effects on respiratory health of the users. All these issues remained unaddressed by a larger part of time, which drives project PRABHAS to bring light literally to their lives.
The community is distributed, along the bank of river Sutlej, in close clusters of 5-150 houses per cluster. Owing to demography of the village and portability we opted for solar energy based solutions. Each family has similar needs but according to the size of clusters, different efficient methods can be employed. Thus the project is exploring the possibility to provide solar micro-grids to big clusters and subsequently, solar lamps to the small ones. The maintenance and handling of the solar panel is indeed a big issue, where the training and maintenance also becomes a part of the project. This solution has potential of various income generating opportunities as well.
We plan to tackle this problem in three phases:
- Phase I:
- 1. Supplying solar lamps to families at a subsidized price and in monthly instalments.
- 2. Installing micro-grids for a cluster of 50 families (on pilot basis).
- Phase II:
- 1. Training to maintain and handle the solar panels and micro-grids.
- 2. Educate them to buy the solar lamps online.
- 3. Optimising the solution according to the needs of the community.
- 4. Creating micro-financing gateways for facilitating solar equipment purchase.
- Phase III:
- 1. Expanding the project and implementing it in other communities.
- 2. More employment opportunities.
- 3. Ensuring the sustainability of the project.
Make the residents of the village self-dependent to procure, maintain and handle sustainable energy solutions in the long run.