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A silent biogas revolution

A silent revolution is happening at Idkidu, a small village in Dakshina Kannada district. At a time when global warming and the energy crisis looms large, this village is doing its bit towards using environment-friendly alternate energy.

The dairies at Idkidu inspire farmers to harness alternate energy. The hamlet with around 700 families is well known for its community development activities. It has made remarkable progress in terms of water literacy, dairy and cooperative sector, and is inching towards self-reliance.  Most residents here don’t have a regular LPG connection at all. As many as 120 families already own biogas plants and some more are in the pipeline.

Unlike many other villages, Idkidu has three cooperative milk societies namely Amruta Dhara, Amruta Sindhu and Amruta Varshini. As many as 300 members contribute to the annual milk collection of more than eight lakh litres, and a transaction of more than a  crore rupees. The dairy not only helps farmers inch towards self-reliance, but also inspires them to make use of alternate energy.

Solar power lights up 10 villages

It’s half past eight in a tiny village called Neeralakatti, 15 km from Dharwad where Mangala is busy grading farm-picked brinjals as she has to send the vegetables to the market early next day. Kamalavva is preparing dinner while her children are completing their homework. Although the village suffers from intermittent electricity supply, villagers don’t seem disturbed by this problem as they carry on their daily activities using solar lamps installed in their homes. Solar energy has helped light up lives of 80 homes in this village. Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB), a leading rural bank in Karnataka, started introducing solar lighting in the villages in 1994. Though the awareness campaign was on, it gained momentum in the early years of this decade when North Karnataka was hit by drought for three consecutive years.

Biodegradable plates

Some farmers do away with dried areca fronds. Some others use it as natural manure. And then, there are women who are turning self-reliant thanks to these areca fronds. They make biodegradable plates out of these fronds and market them. There is a huge demand too for such plates.

Take Jalakshi from Oorubailu of Chembu village in Madikeri taluk, for example. She became a member of a Stree Shakti Self-Help group and started making these plates in the comfort of her own home. own.

Jalakshi earns at least Rs 7,500 every month from these plates and has set an example for the other women from her village to follow suit.

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