Modhera: Kesa Bhai Prajapati beams with a smile as he moulds blocks of clay into jugs and vases on a potter’s wheel. These days, Prajapati, 68, from the village of Modhera in western India’s Gujarat state, has doubled the amount of earthenware he makes compared to a few months ago since he no longer has to turn the wheel manually as he could not then afford high electricity bill that were up to 1,500 Indian rupees ($18.19) a month. Now, however, his machine moves on solar power as earlier this month Prajapati’s village of around 6,500 residents, consisting mainly of potters, tailors, farmers and shoemakers, was declared India’s first village to run entirely on solar energy all the time.
Electricity has helped us to save time and produce more products, Prajapati said.
India, the world’s third-largest carbon dioxide emitter, aims to meet half of its energy demands from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, by 2030, a boost over its previous target of 40%, the government said it achieved in December 2021.
The project in Modhera, financed by the federal and provincial government at nearly $10 million, involved setting up over 1,300 rooftop panels on residential and government buildings that were connected to a power plant.
The government buys excess energy produced here from residents if they do not use all of the capacity allotted to the households.
With this money, Praveen Bhai, 43, a tailor, plans to buy a gas connection and stove, since many houses in the village cook food in wood-fired stoves that leave a smoky haze.
I had to teach the kids under the street lamp. Now they will be able to study inside the house.
Modhera, also known for its ancient Sun Temple dedicated to the sun god, is situated in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat, which is holding elections later this year.
For a self-reliant India of the 21st century, we have to increase such efforts related to our energy needs, Modi said earlier this month.
For Reena Ben, 36, a housewife, who also works as a tailor part time, the solar power has hugely aided her work.
When we got access to solar power, I bought an electric motor worth 2,000 rupees ($24) to attach to the sewing machine. Now I am able to sew one or two more clothes daily.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.