Empowering the tribal communities in Chhattisgarh
Tata Power Solar’s journey of enabling solar everywhere is incomplete without the chapter on Chattisgarh. Located centrally in the dense forests of Chattisgarh, the tribal community here continues to be a very isolated one that is rendered unreachable due to the lack of infrastructure. For an extended period of time, this place has continues to remain removed from the rest of civilization and all the while these tribal communities have been deprived of basic necessities with absolutely no access to power. Tata Power Solar led a campaign in this region to make solar available in over 400 villages with 10,000+ installations generating over 14,000 kWh of energy per year – making Chattisgarh a monumental flagship project to reckon with.
The renewable energy agency for Chattisgarh, CREDA, fully aware of the difficulties of electrifying the jungles of Chattisgarh collaborated with Tata Power Solar, always the most preferred partner of Government agencies, to launch various solar power projects in the state – electrifying villages, special area development and tribal community development depending on the varying needs of the community. This project has posed many challenges like the accessibility of these villages, acceptance by local community which Tata Power Solar was able to preemtpively account and solve for which has made this project a huge success and the changed lives of the people at Chattisgarh today is a tale to tell.
Tata Power Solar, as part of the projects outlined above, has set up over 100 micro grids in a phased approach across the many villages spanning the Chattisgarh forests. With Tata Power Solar's solar installations such as solar water heaters, solar pumps, power packs and rooftop panels for lighting, the tribal villages now have access to both indoor and outdoor light, easy access to water and everyday needs that was an inaccessible luxury. The acceptance by the tribal communities made the successful implementation and execution of this project by the Tata Power Solar an exemplary example of the flawless execution by the Tata Power Solar team.
Challenges & Solutions
Difficult access to villages in the impenetrable forests: The villages identified by CREDA for these solar projects are those that have been classified as locations where access to grid is considered impossible. Tata Power Solar, with its impeccable planning and disciplined execution, were able to account for this and not only did they reach out to all these locations, the team implemented these projects within the planned timeline.
Change apprehensions of the locals to trust: All these tribal villages that had never experienced access to such energy sources were both grateful and overjoyed to finally turn a chapter in their lives towards a better living. As part of our core values and tradition, whichever remote areas where Tata Power Solar does solar installations, they like to bringin the local communities to train and educate that allows for a greater sense of ownership and acceptance of the project by the local community.
Electrification of villages using solar power plants has had a positive impact on the lives of the villagers, largely populated by poor tribes, by giving them access to a green, sustainable source of energy. Supplemented by privately owned power packs, homes now have electricity 24 hours a day, running lights, televisions and in some cases, pay-and-use printers and scanners. For example, the home lighting project ensures that all the homes are lighted with 2 CFLs each, which run from 6-10pm. The solar power packs are used to run fans, refrigerators, TVs and charge mobile phones.
Tata Power Solar has touched the lives of over 10,000 people residing in the Chattisgarh forests – local businesses now can stay open for longer hours, children can study even after sunset, families can now enjoy watching television, in a reliable and cost effective way.