Project Pragati – Sunpower Renewables Powering Women Empowerment in India
Sunpower Renewables Pty. Ltd., a leading Australian renewable energy solutions company, with support from the Australian High Commission, New Delhi under the Direct Aid Program (DAP) has successfully launched “Project Pragati” in Rajasthan, a state in the north of India.
Sunpower Renewables Powering Women Empowerment in India
Initiated in partnership with Pragya (a development organisation with presence in India, Nepal and East Africa), Project Pragati aims to enhance the education levels and provide vocational and skill building training to girls and women in rural Rajasthan, where the educational status of girls is far below the national average.
Through Project Pragati, Sunpower Renewables aspires not only to facilitate women empowerment and social development, but also promote social entrepreneurship and energy independence, at large.
As part of the program, Sunpower Renewables installed fourteen supplementary Education Centres in villages and 4 district Empowerment Centres with their Australian made 400wh portable solar generator – Cleo.
A total of 700 girls (5-14 years of age) in 2 districts in Rajasthan will benefit through supplementary education provided by Project Pragati. Vocational training, including in Information Technology/Information Technology Enabled Services, and career facilitation services will benefit 60 women. 32 teachers and trainers will be trained in pedagogical skills and Information and Communications Technology. Training on renewable energy facilities and their maintenance will benefit 60 youth in target districts.
The Cleo units ensure round the clock supply of electricity to these centres, thereby maximising usage hours and providing the students with uninterrupted access to the centre’s learning resources.
Being energy independent, the training centres are now open until late in the evenings (till 9pm). This ensures that women don’t miss out on their daily training even after their household commitments, while functioning in a safe and secure environment.
None of this was possible earlier, considering that these areas either did not have any electricity supply at all or had very scanty and erratic electricity supply.
The initiative strives to improve gender equity across fourteen tribal districts in Rajasthan where low educational status of girls, coupled with their lack of vocational skills, has created severe gender inequality – both socially and economically – leading to several gender-based evils, such as a high incidence of child marriage.