The workshop was organized to sensitize the rural solar entrepreneurs and the potential consumers about the project, and to know more about the specific needs of the villagers, problems being faced at present. Around 70 people attended the program from two villages that are Kankandighi and Nagendrapur. The Workshop was organized by MUKTI India (Main Implementation partner) and SIFE AIMK (co-implementation partner) in collaboration with BANGIYA PARISHAD, Qatar(Funding partners), TERI Delhi (Funding Partner) and MUKTI Qatar.
Objective of the Workshop:
1. Promotion of solar project and sensitizing the potential customers, discussing the problems with them, probable solutions, detailed talk with the solar entrepreneurs in the villages.
2. Solar project discussion with solar entrepreneurs with the installation, training aspects of the project.
3. Detailed discussion of the technical aspects of the products and needed changes in the product.
The workshop started with a general discussion on the present condition of the villagers, the lighting needs and the present sources. It was found that the lighting needs of villagers have increased from their previous needs due to various reasons. An amount ranging between Rs 150 to Rs 270 per month is being spent on buying kerosene for lighting purpose.
Problems being faced due to use of kerosene lamps:
1. The kerosene at present is very costly. Villagers get 400gm to 800gm of kerosene per month through ration at Rs 10per litre. But rest of the kerosene demand has to be fulfilled from the black market from where they buy it at Rs 30 to 45 per litre. So the monthly kerosene consumption shoots up to Rs 250- 270 a month for a household.
2. The illumination of kerosene lantern is not very good. It puts a lot of pressure on the eyes of the students, ladies who work late night.
3. The gas emitted from kerosene lanterns are harmful for the lungs but at present it is the only way of lighting, so has to be endured.
4. Kerosene prices are increasing and thus creating problems for people who earn around Rs 400 – 450/ month. Lighting needs are not being fulfilled fully.
In the workshop the villagers were shown through simple calculation how they will be saving money through using solar lanterns of the project instead of kerosene lamps. A maximum of Rs 90 will be spent per month for the lighting and they can save a lot. The illumination being higher, the villagers were enthusiastic about the project.
The technical discussion on the lanterns was also carried out. The villagers gave their feedback about the lantern, which was good. They also gave some ideas as to how it can be made better.
The workshop was also attended by women shop owners (tea stall owners or eating shop owners) who were also interested in the lanterns. According to them the lanterns would save a lot of money as they need I for just 5 hours a day and kerosene prices being too hing doesn’t give them much profits.
The rural solar entrepreneurs (Mr Raju Haldar and Mr Mahadeb in presence of the solar project coordinators Mr Raghunath Bairagi and Mr Judhistry Haldar) gave their feedback for the project. The distribution channel for the distribution and collection of lanterns was discussed and how it can be made easier and less cumbersome. Some very good models given by the entrepreneurs were discussed at length.
The event was finished with lunch for all the audience.
We on behalf of Mukti India are very thankful to BANGIYA PARISHAD, Qatar and MUKTI Qatar for their contribution in making the workshop successful.
Organisor: Koel Ghorai Chief Coordinator (Solar Project). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org