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Energy and Livelihoods – The Missing Eco-System and SELCO’s Solutions

Poverty alleviation is a need of the 21st century. Time and again SELCO has reiterated the need for energy access to alleviate people from poverty. For this, conducive eco-system has to be provided and filling the gap is vital.

The Economic Pyramid – As we see it

The economic pyramid as defined today is too simplistic. It is interesting that all types of ‘poor’ segments are clubbed into one – thus creating a homogeneous segment. Thus many of the models that target the “bottom of the pyramid” do assume one size fits all methodology and completely disregard the numerous segments in that category. This does not work effectively as the bottom part can be divided into many parts depending on income streams, geography, nature of work, culture etc.

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Energy and Livelihoods

Now, in the 21st century it is critical that for overall development of the society to take place poverty has to be alleviated. For poverty to be reduced in a sustained manner, poor need income generating activities and become owners, employers and asset creators. They just cannot be considered as a labor force for the other parts of the world – a situation that will be lead to social unsustainability.

For development to happen in the way explained above – energy will play a key role. Over the last two odd decades, numerous documents and studies have kept repeating the number that more than 2 billion people in this world lack access to electricity (otherwise known as off-grid) and 3 billion still use other forms of dirty fuels for basic cooking. These numbers in the last 20 years have not changed.

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