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On a road to self-reliance: Women from self-help groups in UP are creating solar lamps for kids!

An initiative by the Rural Development Dept., distribution of solar lamps will help to spread light in UP via women-employment!

The Uttar Pradesh Government has rolled out a project to promote the idea of self-sustenance among women. Under the Prerna Ojas Programme of the State Rural Livelihoods Mission, the state has given an opportunity to self-help women groups to craft solar lamps for children across the districts. This avenue will lead to economic and social empowerment in the rural female folk and also spread light, at a reasonably low cost for the benefit of children in remote areas.

The road to self-reliance

The Rural Development Department of Uttar Pradesh and the CSR Fund have given a chance to self-help groups to create solar lamps for school children. These will be made available at the cost of ₹100 per unit as against the high market price of ₹500 per lamp. It is not the first time that such as initiative has been launched in UP. Earlier also, the state had distributed about 28 lakh solar lamps, crafter by 4,000 women to school children in 75 blocks, stretched over 30 districts in Uttar Pradesh.

The Kanpur Dehat District Magistrate, Jitendra Pratap Singh has highlighted that this project will yield double the benefits. This initiative would help children a great deal in pursuing education. The solar lamps, as the name suggests will be charged by the sun and thus the source of light will be a one-time investment. The outcome will be doubled as this means will also help women find a way to become self-reliant, he added.

Self-help groups have generated ₹1 lakh by selling solar lamps

Initially, the Prerna Ojas Programme was launched in 18 groups and 35 women from these outfits were selected to received training in manufacturing solar lamps and selling them. A dedicated unit was also set up at the Paraunkh Village. The Chief Development Officer of the Kanpur Dehat district informed that about 978 self-help groups have been set up here now to support around 10,758 rural women.

These ladies will be engaged to produce solar lamps which will be cheaper than market rates, the CDO informed. As per the CEO of the Prerna Ojas Programme, each woman is given ₹12 for manufacturing and ₹17 for the sale of each lamp. With this, their daily wage accounts to ₹250-₹300. So far, 1000 lamps have been produced and sold for ₹100 per piece to the students at Council's school in the block. Accordingly, the women's help units have generated an income of ₹1 lakh from the sale of solar lamps.

From self-help groups to entrepreneurs of the future!

As per the scope of the mission, the women help groups also carry out repair work if needed. The validity of the lamps produced will stretch up to Feburary 2022, read reports. The CEO of the program said that if the delivery target of the solar lamps is successfully achieved, these rural women groups will unlock the chance of becoming entrepreneurs in future!

They will be financed to establish Prerna Solar Smart Shop in various towns and markets of the block. Besides lamps, women can also venture to sell and repair various solar run equipment and products, including lanterns, flashlights, lamps, solar fans, panels, LED bulbs at the solar shop. These shops will also work as training centres for other women and reach out to more women to teach them how to manufacture, sell and repair solar products.

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