On May 24 2009 Barli Development Institute Rural Women installed SK 14 parabolic Solar Cookers in Harsola and Jamli villages of Indore district by handing over to 5 needy, desirous rural and tribal women members of Self Help Groups supported by State Bank of India.
Dr ( Mrs.) Janak Palta McGilligan, Director, Barli Development Institute for Rural Women, Indore introduced the overall activities of the Institute and its objective of promoting Sustainable Community Development through training of rural and tribal women as social change agents for their communities. She said taking solar energy to villages through women is just one of its priority as Institute believes that conserving and protecting the environment is a spiritual responsibility of human beings. These cookers have been given under their project sponsored by school children through an NGO PLAGE in Austria . The Institute has a policy that it does not give technology without training the user and it insists on nominal contributions by them so that they use it and value it.Women from Harsola and Jamli were, selected and sponsored by the State Bank of India.
They were sent to Barli Institute for 5 days training on how to use and maintain the solar cooker, also how to use it as an income generating tool, by cooking and packing snacks for sale during March 2009. Each solar cooker costs Rs 7000/ .PLAGE has subsidized heavily, by donating Rs 5000, State Bank of India has given these women a loan of Rs 1500 at only 4 % of rate of interest while the beneficiaries have paid Rs 500 each. The Institute has already more than 350 such cookers in use among the rural and tribal communities.
Addressing the women Dr. McGilligan said that there is scarcity of water in our part of the world, but solar energy is unlimited and we can get it free of cost. We should all use solar energy. The changes reported about these solar cookers in the lives of women and their families who are using, is remarkable. They are running Solar tea stalls, cooking midday meal on these cookers for their livelihood They are saving money and time by not having to get fuel. It saves time, energy, health, and dignity as there is always a fear of rape on the long distances to isolated areas to collect firewood..Using solar cookers is also much safer than conventional cooking methods because there is no risk of fire, gas leaks or explosions. The users are also very happy that the cookers being such a status symbol, more men have started cooking.
The women who received the cookers in Harsola Mrs.Shivkanya Bai,Smt Ramkanya Bai,andSmt. Rekha Kumre, and Smt Prbha Wati and Smt Sunita in Jamli had solar cooked rice and tea on their solar cookers that was served to all the guests and the members of their communities. Branch Mangers Sh R. K Ratnawat Harsola and, Mr Rajesh Mehta , Jamli welcomed and honoured special guests, Mr. Jimmy McGilligan, Manager of the Institute and his Solar energy team members Harindra Goluguri, Rajender Chauhan, Sakha Ram and Smt Nanda Chauhan.
Mr. R Senger field Officer of the Jamli. branch of the bank and Mr Himanshu Joshi at Harsola branch gave the vote of thanks after th programme.
By Janak McGilligan Director
Barli Developemt Institute for Rural Women.
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