Kawatha ladies’s self-help group units up solar panel-making unit | Nagpur Information
Wardha: In a first initiative of this kind, a self-help group for women from the village of Kawatha set up a production unit for solar modules.
The “Tejaswi Solar Energy Backward Class Women’s Industrial Cooperative” will be opened on January 26th by Sunil Kedar, Minister for Guardianship and Animal Husbandry, Milk Development, Sports and Youth Welfare.
The manufacture of solar modules is usually carried out by large companies. However, the uneducated women in the self-help group have made a leap into the industry by gaining knowledge of technical work such as building and manufacturing solar panels. This is the first case in Maharashtra and the second in the country to start an industry to manufacture solar panels through a support group for women in a rural area.
In 2018, the then district collector Shailesh Nawal presented this idea to these women and approved Rs3 crore for this project as part of the innovative programs of DPDC by the social department in collaboration with UMED Abhiyan from Zilla Parishad.
“We try to be entrepreneurial through the women’s support group movement. In our village Kawatha (Zopadi) the majority of women belong to the backward class community. This project was initiated by the District Planning and Development Committee (DPDC) innovation program. We were trained by UMED Abhiyan from Zilla Parishad. Now we are making solar panels, street lights and lamps in our village, ”said Sangita Wankhede, director of the unit.
“Wardha District has always been at the forefront of innovative self-help group initiatives. The Tejasvi Solar Energy project produces solar panels, solar street lights and solar lamps. The aim of the project is to provide women with sustainable employment that will help increase their home productivity and improve their standard of living, ”said Dr. Sachin Ombase, CEO of ZP Wardha.
IIT Mumbai provided technical support for the project, said IIT Mumbai’s project manager, Amit Deshmukh. IIT Mumbai works with the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy. This work is based on the concept of “Sustainable Energy Ecosystem – From Locals to Locals”. The cost of solar modules is reduced because they are manufactured on site. The project is sure to improve local skills, boost the local economy, create jobs and increase women’s incomes.
Tejaswi Solar Energy Backward Women’s Industrial Society was registered under the cooperative with 214 female shareholders, 200 of whom are from the backward class. From preparing the project report to getting approval from DPDC for building a factory shed, running the electronic tendering process, buying a machine, registering as a cooperative organization and registering the tax on goods and services, etc. was done by Umed Abhiyan. Deshmukh stayed in the village and provided the women with training including the skills needed to run a business, information technology, financial management, accounting, accounting, online ordering of raw materials, marketing, etc.
After being trained by Durga Solar Energy in Dungarpur, Rajasthan, 12 women first came to the village and started making solar lamps. They also made a thousand lamps and sold them for Rs2 lakh. The company’s factory is finished and panel production is under way. Women also make solar panels, solar street lights, and solar house lights. Recently, they received an order from ZP to deliver street lamps worth 40 rupees in rural areas.