One-day Stakeholders Consultation Workshop organised by SELCO Foundation

A one-day Stakeholders Consultation Workshop was organised by SELCO Foundation and Bharatiya Vikas Trust (BVT) at Conference Hall, Zimik Plaza, Viewland Ukhrul on Wednesday. Representatives from Government Line Departments, (Horticulture and Agriculture dept.) Govt Institutes (KVK), Financial Institutes (UCO bank and MSCB) NGOs and Community Based Organizations (VVD, PASDO, ENFOGAL, UDCRMS, TCC, UDWIM, SEAT) participated in the consultation workshop. The objective of the consultation workshop was to understand the various challenges being faced by the people of the district, particularly in livelihood practices, as well as to be a platform where each stakeholder can leverage support from one another. The workshop started with an interactive session identifying several issues and challenges faced by each of the NGOs working across different sectors. The workshop also highlighted ways in which SELCO Foundation has been able to develop decentralised renewable energy solutions through various technological and design inputs. Nagakarthik (Founder, Sauramandala Foundation) facilitated the ideation workshop.

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SELCO Foundation is an open-source, non-profit organization that engages in field-based Research and Development ecosystem building for the deployment of clean energy solutions that alleviate poverty in tribal, rural and urban poor areas. The organization works closely with practitioners in the social sector, energy entrepreneurs and partners from various developmental sectors. SELCO Foundation was founded in 2010 by Harish Hande, an Indian social entrepreneur. He was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2011 for his pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, through his social enterprise, SELCO India.

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SELCO Foundation has been working in Manipur for five years with projects in 14 districts so far, with a branch office in Imphal, regional office in Guwahati and head office in Bangalore. SELCO Foundation primarily works in rural and underdeveloped areas creating a renewable energy ecosystem primarily through solar energy. With clean energy as a focal point, SELCO Foundation has launched many projects across different sectors at the grass-root level such as healthcare, animal husbandry, food processing, textile, small business, livelihood, household well being, sustainable development, retail services etc. SELCO Foundation is currently conducting research in Ukhrul district to study different value chains where renewable energy may play an important role for sustainable development. They have worked in partnership with well established NGOs like Volunteers for Village Development (VVD) and Ukhrul District Women Institute of Micro-credit (UDWIM) and have taken up several development projects at the grass-root level in the district with special focus on renewable energy and livelihood practices such as food processing, textile and small business and Animal husbandry. SELCO Foundation is looking to insert technological ease with solar energy in some of the basic yet tedious task where manpower and electricity can be replaced with cleaner and greener technology using solar energy– From solar powered retro fitted sewing machines with lighting to solar generated water pumps, solar powered rice hulling machine, solar powered cold storage. These equipment models of SELCO have gained practicality and popularity among rural areas and conveniently all of these equipment comes in different variants according to the scale and specificity of the purpose.

SELCO is looking to insert technological ease with solar energy in some of the basic yet tedious task where manpower and electricity can be replaced with cleaner and greener technology using solar energy– From solar powered retro fitted sewing machines with lighting to solar generated water pumps, solar powered rice hulling machine, solar powered cold storage. These equipment models of SELCO have gained practicality and popularity among rural areas and conveniently all of these equipment comes in different variants according to the scale and specificity of the purpose.

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Mashun Khangrah, the Programme Coordinator while sharing a brief vision of SELCO Foundation in Ukhrul stressed the need to work together. “Although Selco Foundation is well recognised in other parts of the country and even abroad, we are relatively new to our region and as such, there are many challenges while trying to penetrate the grass-root level communities. This is why we focus on building strong partnerships and leveraging support from established NGOs and departments working in the field. We are keen to learn and work together, and see how we can be a helping hand for the betterment of the community. We would like to create compelling models of development which can be adopted by the administration and in doing so, we want to build a strong bond between the various stakeholders of the community. We are working in a close tie-up with financial institutions and government line departments to make these benefits accessible to all. If we can pool our resources together, we can make huge strides for sustainable development of the community,” Mashun Khangrah expressed.

SELCO Foundation, at the moment is also set to introduce a first of its kind, solar powered egg incubator for the first time in Ukhrul and a 5 tonne cold storage solution, as well as various food processing units.

Also read: Disturbed Area reduced in Manipur’s valley

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