‘Committed towards conservation of the planet’

Bringing electricity to one of the most ecologically sensitive regions of the world is no small feat. This is the story of Project Sahasra- Jyoti, through which more than 1,000 forest fringe households in Sunderbans were electrified by establishing micro grids of renewable energy stations.

Started by World Wide Fund for Nature – India, this project aimed to provide forest fringe un-electrified villages in the Sundarbans access to clean energy solutions. The project addresses requirements of clean and sustainable home lighting solutions, and also helps mitigate risks of human-wildlife interaction.

In addition to this, the project has helped increase the quality of life in these communities by providing technological support and entrepreneurial guidance to the locals. Venkat Garimella, vice-president, Access to Energy and CSR, Schneider Electric India shared how this project was realised and finally implemented. Excerpts:

Q.Why did you decide to implement this in Sundarbans and not any other part of the nation?

The Sundarbans, spanning across India and Bangladesh is famous for its unique and single largest block of mangrove forest in the world. Besides being the only mangrove forest in the world where tigers are found, Indian part of Sundarbans is also home to about 4.5 million people.

Project Sahasra Jyoti is an initiative to ensure communities have access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services that deliver socio-economic benefits to the forest fringe communities along with conservation benefits.

Access to clean and modern energy services have a potential to improve people’s lives and livelihoods and reduces their dependence on the forest and hence, reduces the risk of human wildlife interaction.

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