Udupi: Access to energy plays a catalytic role in the overall upliftment of developing economies by empowering the poor. This access when affordable and reliable can greatly support agriculture, education and health services, as well as household well-being by enabling income generation and thus create safety nets for the poor to withstand shocks or stresses. Tanzania and India share similar roots in its nation building philosophy of self-reliance and social justice to creating a level playing field via socio-economic development for all. These lessons can be extended to establish sustainable decentralized energy ecosystems across different contexts targeted at underserved populations.
So, to facilitate that, SELCO Foundation is hosting eleven leaders in the renewable energy sector from Tanzania from November 26 to December 3. The learning exchange visit until now included in-depth discussions, mutual knowledge and experience sharing through interactive sessions in Bengaluru and on-field exposure visits to a spectrum of energy access solutions across the coastal region of Karnataka.
The on-field activities were centred around SELCO’s Manipal centre which was established with the partnership of Bharatiya Vikas Trust (BVT), Manipal, during the early days of SELCO. For three days, apart from thorough interaction with the branches and understanding of its operations, the delegates from Tanzania also had the opportunities to travel to energy intervention sites across Udupi and Kundapur taluks. The visits not only provided an in-depth perspective toward how innovative the technology, financing and other aspects of successful energy access interventions could be, but also gave the guests a rare opportunity of having a one to one interaction with rural entrepreneurs that would help them in drawing parallels to similar scenarios in Tanzania. The on-field visits included solar powered milking machine intervention at Muddumane where the innovators from Ksheera Enterprise shared the stories of their successful journey in becoming one of the well-respected enterprises in the sector; different home-lighting solutions implemented through innovative financial linkages; livelihood center at Namma Bhoomi in Kundapur; sustainably housing for slum community at Mullikatte; livelihood solutions in the form of pottery, sewing machine, blacksmith blower and photocopy centres; governmental level interventions at Kerady gram panchayat and sessions from experts invited from various sectors including skill development from DATC Chitradurga and Hamsa Chaitanya Co-operative Bank among other relevant interactions.
The three-day visit to the coastal belt of Karnataka by the participants of Tanzania served as the core of the whole learning exchange visit for the energy champions from Tanzania and along with the learnings that Karnataka and India provided in terms of clean energy interventions in improving livelihoods of the poor.
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