Toward Vibrant Green Urban Slums – India

This initiative seeks to create a "one-stop shop" for slum communities' renewable energy needs. "Toward Vibrant Green Urban Slums" intends to create centers that provide efficient lighting and cooking systems, among other resources. The project aims to make slums more environmentally friendly, and at the same time healthier.

Fast facts:

  • 5,000 people targeted in 3 slums

  • 1,000 efficient LED lights to be distributed

  • 200 jobs to be created

The problem

Cities in India are growing, as very poor laborers migrate there in search of employment. This is in spite of the fact they often lack adequate or saleable skills. Frequently these migrants live without access to minimum energy needs and other infrastructure. The metropolis of Hyderabad has India’s highest proportion of slum population. The poor people there use kerosene for lighting, or make use of open three-stone stoves or portable, low-efficiency metal stoves for cooking.

The solution

This program, supported by S3IDF, aims to establish “akshay urja” centers, or renewable energy centers, to distribute energy-efficient technologies. These would include solar LED lighting, solar photovoltaic LED lighting for street hawkers, and improved, efficient cook stoves. The project will organize planning meetings and local committees to carry out work at these centers. This serves to educate and mobilize people to switch to more climate-friendly technologies.

Helping the planet

Tapping solar energy for lighting and using more efficient cook stoves reduces the demand for and use of fossil fuels like kerosene. This not only averts the environmental destruction that occurs from extracting such resources, it also prevents the release of greenhouse gases and other pollution during their combustion.

Helping people

Adopting more efficient means of lighting and cooking would save people money, helping to lift them out of the cycle of poverty. People who use these efficient technologies also benefit from a healthier environment, both indoor and outdoor, as they are no longer burning kerosene for lighting or wood for cooking.

Spillover effect

This project represents an extension of such work in rural communities, demonstrating how the project can be replicated and scaled up. Intensive training and facilitation of self-employment will also allow the project to expand. The role of akshay urja centers, for example, could evolve into IT kiosks that provide education and communication services. Sharing the wealth of data collected during this project, only further contributes to its potential for replication.

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