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Today the world has more than 730 million people living in extreme poverty and at-least 175 million of them live in India. We also have more than 200 million people in India, with no access and at least another 200 million with very poor access to reliable energy.

The poor and their needs differ according to their geographies, social and cultural contexts. In each of these topographies, the poor face challenges in the areas of livelihoods, health, education and well being. For e.g. a Manipuri weaver needs modernization of loom technology while a blacksmith in Karnataka needs a more efficient hammer with affordable finance.

Another big problem of our time, is climate change. You may not think that poverty and climate change are connected, but they are. Climate change affects some of us more than the others – for example, the small and marginal farmers, the slum dwellers, the street vendors, the fishermen; they are all affected by climate change today! But sustainable energy is a tool that can not only empower them with better livelihood opportunities, but also empower them with a solution that mitigates climate change.

Sustainable energy interventions like solar power can democratize the delivery of health, education and livelihood applications: all of them are critical for the poor to come out of extreme poverty.

For example, Solar power to run medical devices on boats serving remote populations in the islands on Brahmaputra, not only increases the efficiency of health delivery but also completely displaces diesel as the source of fuel: thus, leading to development and climate friendly solutions.

The Brahmaputra Health solution can be replicated in the islands of Philippines, across Vietnam, Amazon in Brazil or Congo Basin. Similar solutions can be replicated in the sectors of education, health and livelihoods: three of the four essential pillars of human development.

Innovative interventions in sustainable energy sectors which are introduced and replicated in India, will not only help the poor across the world but create their own path towards prosperity and also do it in a way that the problems of climate change are taken care for the future generations. This is how development and sustainable energy go hand in hand for the betterment of the society.

Tags : DevelopmentEducationHealthLivelihoodsolarSustainable Energy
Harish Hande

The author Harish Hande

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