2200 villages sensitized on RACE

The availability, accessibility and affordability of “Clean Energy” are among the biggest challenges in the tribal areas of Jharkhand. More than 60% population in these areas rely heavily on traditional biomass sources as firewood, cow dung cake, crop residues, charcoals etc. Both biomass and biomass burning contribute heavily to indoor air pollution, exposing families to severe health hazards, primarily for women who spend substantial time in cooking.

This kind of energy poverty in Jharkhand has caused the following:

  • Severe setback on the education of children as they are not able to study in the evenings due to low light quality.
  • Lack of electricity-oriented livelihood opportunities for the youth and farmers
  • Disadvantaged women from a young age, because it is typically women and girls whose task it is to find traditional biofuels and often transport them over long distances. This has in turn reduced their time for study and schooling resulting in limiting their opportunities for a better future and pushing them further into life-long impoverishment.

There are few Government Policies, schemes and programs related to clean energy (Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) 2005, Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) 2010, National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Mini Grid Policy, National Energy Policy, Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA), Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP), Off-grid and Decentralized Solar Applications programme, Unnat Chulla Abhiyan, Biogas Power Programme, state rural livelihood mission, Tribal Development Projects) but low level of awareness at community level and less commitment and accountability on the part of the different duty bearers towards promotion of Clean Energy Solutions in the rural areas is a huge challenge. Recently, there has been entry of commercial energy solutions in forms of solar products, but most of these lack consistency in terms of availability, affordability, maintenance, quality and reliability. Most of the existing energy solutions are low on performance index as they are not made as per the local conditions and eventually fail due to lack of usage, repair and maintenance skills. There are few commercial enterprises, CSR companies and Micro-Finance Institutions(MFIs) trying to serve the rural energy market, but they too find challenge in finding appropriate platforms, volume and enterprising people to sustain and grow the business.

RACE-“Rural Access to Clean Energy”

“Rural Access to Clean Energy-RACE” focuses on strengthening the organizational capacities of local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the area of clean energy sector thereby ensuring Clean Energy Solutions (CES) for poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups through a ‘Rights based approach’ along with development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem for CES in the rural areas of Jharkhand. The project is supported by European Union, LEADS being the lead organisation, the project partners, World Vision (Jharkhand office) and Vikas Bharti.

The main objective of project is:

  • Sensitize, aware and capacitate duty bearers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) promote Clean Energy Solutions in 24 blocks of 4 districts in Jharkhand.
  • Increase multiple stakeholder dialogues and advocacy on CES in 24 blocks of 4 districts in Jharkhand 
  • Enhance skills and entrepreneurship environment in clean energy sector in rural areas

The design of the proposed action is consistent with the Government of Jharkhand’s focus on clean energy in the area of clean energy with a rights based approach. It focuses on building capacity of CSOs in resources mobilization, advocacy skills, and constructive engagement in policy dialogue with a focus on governance aspects of the clean energy sector. It further focuses on advocacy and entrepreneurship development on clean energy issues, to promote interventions that address the rights issues, raise awareness and stimulate active grassroots mobilization and engagement to address the need and accessibility to affordable clean energy solutions. The overall objective of the project is to capacitate 50 local CSOs and communities in advocacy skills and active engagement in local policy-making to ensure that “Clean Energy Solutions (CES) are available, accessible and affordable for the tribal communities of Jharkhand.”

The action targets approximately  2000 villages, and operates at four level: (1) Village, (2) Block, (3) District and (4) State for developing a mechanism for policy and programme level initiatives for accessing Clean Energy in rural area. The area of intervention is:

Intensive-Extensive Project Area and Project Implementing Partners

S.No Partners District Blocks Intensive Block No. of Intensive villages No. of Extensive villages Total population
1 World Vision Ranchi Namkom, Angara, Kanke, Ormanjhi, Bundu, Tamar Namkom 82 507 689918
2 LEADS Khunti Murhu,  Karra, Torpa,  Rania, Khuti,  Arki Murhu 141 606 397315
3 Vikas Bharti Gumla Bishunpur, Sisai, Ghaghra, Gumla,  Raidih, Bharno Bishunpur 68 361 611933
4 LEADS Simdega Kolebira,  Kersai,  Thethaitang, Jaldega, Bano, Simdega Kolebira 52 296 414928
Total 343 1770 2114094

A series of activities are conducted to achieve the project goal and objectives such as:

  • Develop, publish and disseminate Situational Analysis Report (SAR) (analytical review) for policies, programmes, guidelines and schemes of the Government with regard to CES in tribal areas. 
  • Organize policy findings and knowledge sharing workshop at State level
  • Develop and distribute accessible IEC material on Clean energy solutions for the target group
  • Organize Street Plays, dramas, School events, and wall-writings on CES issues in extensive and intensive villages
  • Developing a website, Radio Programme  and Mobile Movie Kit on CES
  • Organize capacity building trainings for project staff 
  • Formation and strengthening of Village level CES Forum (VCES):
  • Conduct Panchayat Level Networking workshop with PRI Members:
  • Formation and strengthening of Block Level CES (BCES) Forum
  • Formation of District level CES (DCES) Network
  • Formation of State Level CES (SCES) Network
  • Create and award Media Fellowship
  • Organize Media Workshop
  • Organize CES Summit cum Exhibition
  • Establish Nodal Manufacturing and Skill Training Centre

These centres will build the technical capacities of rural communities especially CSOs and will showcase different clean energy technologies available in the market with associated entrepreneurship model. These centres will be equipped with the following CES:

  • Manufacturing facility of solar panel
  • Manufacturing facility of Biomass Briquettes
  • Manufacturing & Assembly unit of energy efficient cook stoves
  • Rural Spark Energy Kits
  • Solar Home lighting system
  • Biogas Digester Plant
  • Organize skill Training for youth
  • Organize Green Business Challenge (GBC)
  • Provide seed funding support to 20 young entrepreneurs
  • Organize Mobile Van for Demonstration on CES
  • Develop and promote use of mobile App on CES

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