Campaign motivates villagers to switch to solar energy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently described solar energy as the ‘ultimate solution’ to India’s energy problems. Here in Dakshina Kannada district, a silent campaign is being carried out by Jana Shikshana Trust, Apna Desh, Grama Vikasa Kendra, Sugrama Sangha, Selco Foundation motivating people to go for renewable sources of energy, from the last one month.

The campaign titled, ‘Belakina Swavalabaneyedege Namma Nadige, Sampoorna Sowra Shakti Abhiyana’ (Our Walk towards Energy Efficiency, Total Solar Campaign), was flagged off on December 19. It aims to create awareness on utilisation of green energy for clean environment among neo-literates, MGNREGS labourers, women Gram Panchayat members and public in rural areas.

The campaign stresses on the need to switch to green energy wherever possible, through motivation. Pamphlets on energy efficiency are also being distributed as part of the campaign.

Jana Shikshana Trust Director Sheena Shetty said 11 people have installed solar panels to light up their houses after getting motivation from the campaign.

The campaign highlights the need to use more renewable energy sources to arrest the ill effects of global warming. Among all alternative energy sources, the country is endowed with abundant solar energy. It is an everlasting energy source with zero pollution.

The pamphlet of the trust said, “The conventional sources of fuel like petrol, diesel, and coal cannot be renewed. These resources will get depleted to a great extent. Hence, solar energy should become the ultimate source of energy. Through solar energy, one can achieve self-sufficiency in energy consumption. It will provide uninterrupted supply of energy for the households.”

Sheena said K S Ameer, a donor, donated the sum required for installing a solar panel to meet the energy requirements of an anganwadi at Meramajalu in Mangaluru taluk. Nayana, Sumathi, Kusuma, Vedavathi, Mailappa, Dejamma of Ilanthila Gram Panchayat, Yashoda in Laila, Vrunda in Meramajalu, Santhosh Kumar in Belma, Winni D’Souza in Udupi have installed solar panels on their roof tops, motivated by the campaign.

Nayana said, “I decided to go for solar power after I attended an awareness programme. Our house did not have electricity. I had applied for electricity connection under various schemes of the government, but I did not get electricity connection. With a solar panel, I can use two lights at my house and charge my mobile phone now. Without electricity connection, I had to go to others’ house to charge mobile phone. Now, my children can study at night without worrying about darkness. We have electricity round-the-clock. Some people in the neighbourhood have also decided to go for solar energy looking at our house.”

Yashoda of Laila said, “I am no more bothered about powers cuts now, thanks to roof top solar panels. Our house has electricity supply round-the-clock. My daughter pastes labels on beedi packets. Earlier, she was finding it difficult to work at night due to frequent power cuts. Now, she can work with ease.”

Funds to be sought
Sheena said the trust is also planning to submit a memorandum to the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj to allocate special funds for lighting the houses of SC/ST, endosulfan victims and physically challenged through solar energy.

“We will also urge the government to announce interest-free loans through nationalised banks and cooperative banks for those who wish to go for green energy,” she added.

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