Event date: 16/07/2016
The need for affordable, clean and reliable electricity for the rural and urban poor is undeniable. Despite improvements in grid expansion in the country, quality and reliability are still far from ideal. Developing decentralized energy solutions for households, livelihoods and community spaces can address this challenge. However, for any clean energy solution to really be successful on the ground, a conducive environment is critical- Technology, Finance, Skill development, Local entrepreneurship and Policy.
Image caption: Inauguration by chief guests (L to R): Sri M. Suresh (General Manager, KREDL), Sri Harish Hande (Chairman, SELCO India), Sri Subramanya (former CEO of TATA BP Solar (now TATA Power)), Sri K.M. Udupa (Managing Trustee, Bharatiya Vikasa Trust, Manipal) and Sri Arun Shrivastava (Managing Director and CEO, Syndicate Bank)
Syndicate bank and Sri Subramanya- former CEO of TATA BP Solar (now TATA Power) have played a key role in building this ecosystem for energy access. They were awarded the Suryamitra award for 2016 for their continued efforts in promoting clean energy for rural communities.
SELCO India recognizes individuals and organizations with Suryamitra awards for their continual and unstinting support to reach out and lift individuals out of energy poverty thereby improving the quality of their life.
When SELCO first began interventions in Karnataka around 1995- technology and financing for end users were two missing gaps. In the leadership of Syndicate bank and Sri Subramanya, SELCO found supporters and experts who were equally dedicated to bridging these gaps.
“Syndicate Bank is a big bank for small farmers and livelihoods” says Sri Arun Shrivastava, Managing Director and CEO who received the award on behalf of Syndicate Bank.
Image caption (L to R): Sri M. Suresh (G. M. KREDL) watches on as Sri Arun Shrivastava (Managing Director and CEO, Syndicate Bank) is being felicitated by Sri K.M. Udupa (Managing Trustee, Bharatiya Vikasa Trust, Manipal). Standing in the row behind: are Sri S. M. Desai (DGM), Sri B. R. Hiremath (AGM), Sri J. K. Panda (Chief Manager) and Sri S. B. Katti (Rtd. Senior Manager) of the Priority Sector Credit Department (PSCD) of Syndicate Bank, Bangalore office. Behind them on right- Sri Thomas Pullenkav (advisor, SELCO India) and Smt. Revathi K (President, SELCO India)
Under the leadership of Sri Arun Shrivastava the bank has actively chosen to go beyond solar lighting in Karnataka into more challenging areas such as Kalahandi in Odisha to finance solar home energy systems. It has also taken a much needed step of using the MUDRA scheme to finance energy solutions for livelihoods including Sewing machines to Roti rolling machines. Over the course of the year, Syndicate bank branches across 4 states will be extending credit to more than 90 entrepreneurs to access decentralized solar solutions for their livelihoods, thereby facilitating local entrepreneurship and productivity.
Image caption: Sri M. Suresh (G. M. KREDL) and Sri Mohan Hegde (COO, SELCO India) watches on as Sri K.M. Udupa (Managing Trustee, Bharatiya Vikasa Trust, Manipal) felicitates Sri Subramanya CEO of TATA BP Solar (now TATA Power). Sri Harish Hande (Chairman, SELCO India), Sri Thomas Pullenkav (advisor, SELCO India) and Smt. Revathi K are seen on the right.
The next Suryamitra Awardee Sri Subramanya- the former CEO of TATA BP Solar (now TATA Power) continues to argue for the need of government to increase off-grid deployment manifold given the vastness of the country and the current state of electrification. Sri Subramanya said, “Newspapers and publications should start focusing on socio economic issues of water, health, energy and the kind of solutions that are being created around them and not just the problems. Nowadays all we hear is megawatts and gigawatts but it is the small, off-grid, decentralised systems that will serve the most rural and remote settlements. Truly small is beautiful!” The need for energy equity is also well recognized by him. He continues to advise enterprises within the sector and thereby push for improvements in energy deployment.
Suryamitra Awards were presided over by Sri Harish Hande, Chairman SELCO India and Sri K.M. Udupa, Managing Trustee, Bharatiya Vikasa Trust, Manipal. The celebration was attended by representatives of all the branches of SELCO India and members from the SELCO Foundation. The event ended with Sri Hande asking, “When will we take our responsibility as an individual or organization to solve people’s problems instead of expecting all the solutions from the government? Can we challenge the present development paradigm and suggest solutions that are replicable and highly inclusive of the poor?”
Image caption(L to R): Sri Ningappa Bedasur (Program Coordinator) and facilitators Kum. Mamthaz and Kum. Sumithra , of Education Lab, Ujire and Yadgir are seen with innovations from Invention and Sustainability Education program that runs in 23 government schools, classes 6th to 9th across South and North Karnataka.
Image caption(L to R): Seen here are health and livelihood applications powered by sustainable energy along with Anoop (intern, SELCO Foundation), visitors and Madhu (tech-livelihoods associate, SELCO Foundation)
The event also showcased sustainable energy applications in health, education and livelihood. These included solar powered sewing machines, hair trimmer, de-husker, Tur Dal pruner (livelihoods); solar powered projector (education); portable medical kit (health); home and shepherd lighting systems.