By: Yabbati Nagaraju, Field Manager, TERI
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), established in 1974, is a not-for-profit research institute focused on environment, energy and sustainable development. TERI’s activities move from formulating local-and national-level strategies to suggesting global solutions to critical environment and energy related issues. TERI is base in New Delhi, India.
TERI and Salesforce.org
TERI and Salesforce.org began their relationship a number of years back, and have since worked on various community projects together. The first activity was a 3 day programme for the Government Primary School children of Hatti Village of Koppal taluk, Koppal district aimed at teaching children about Hampi. The programme involved various activities like drama, watching videos, an excursion to Hampi, learning about the Vijayanagaar dynasty and using illustrations and models to illustrate interpret their learning’s. Books were also given to children to help expand their knowledge and develop their learning.
Foundation Projects to Date
Other projects that have already been completed include; Solar Lighting for seven villages in Guntur District, renewable energy Interventions in Hatii village, Koppal District, Karnataka and building a community library in Karkihalli village, Koppal district, Karnataka.
Livelihood and Renewable Energy Intervention
Access to credit is a major hurdle for many rural women looking to start small enterprises. Also, women’s health is increasingly being affected by indoor air pollution caused by inefficient stoves and kerosene lamps. This particular project was aimed to support these women, helping them take up income generation activities and also providing them with energy efficient biomass cooking stoves and solar lanterns.
The project supported five self-help groups with a revolving fund, enabling 12 women to start small enterprises in the first round. An entrepreneurship awareness program was also run to give the women the skills to efficiently manage their small businesses.
20 women benefited from healthier cooking stoves and solar lanterns which provided a much cleaner indoor environment for women.
Nammora Granthalaya – Our Village Community Library
TERI established a community library and resource centre in Karkihalli village using the Healthy Community grant – we call this Nammora Granthalaya (Our Village Library).
This was an interesting project conceptualized by TERI that targeted the rural population, in particular children and youth, with the hopes to inspire their knowledge development.
The local Gram Panchayat, the Youth Association, women from self-help groups, the local school and the community were actively involved in all stages of the project. The Panchayat even donated a building for this purpose.
TERI used cost-effective designs and local resources to renovate the building and Salesforce volunteers painted colourful motifs on the building and planted trees.
Awareness of the new library spread quickly in the surrounding villages and games and art competitions were held for the children during the inauguration. The library now has over 500 books, including resources from various Government departments, educational centres and the TERI Library.
The TERI team had a fulfilling experience working with the community and the volunteers and were inspired by the community’s enthusiasm and drive.
Plans for the Future
After the success of establishing rural library in Karkihalli village, TERI, supported by Salesforce.org has planned to implement: ‘Clean and Green Energy Interventions’in the village. This project aims to declare Karkihalli village as a ‘clean’ village through the dissemination of renewable energy devices (for cooking and lighting) and to create awareness of the importance of clean sanitation, proper disposal of garbage and environmental cleanliness.