Sewa International which promotes and implements clean tech energy solutions in remote and inaccessible areas, has equipped Odisha’s first 100 per cent solar powered school
Swayam Prakash Baral
Being one of the tribal districts in Odisha, Kalahandi has been enlisted to be one of the most backward regions of the state. Keeping the deplorable condition of the district, Siksha Vikash Samiti initiated a proposal to run a residential school for the inhabitants of the region as they conformed the fact that the root cause of grief was the lack of education. As per the Plan, the school was established in the early 90’s at Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi.
Thuamul is situated in the Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi District at a distance of 20 km from the block headquarter and 60 km from district headquarters, Bhawanipatna. This hilly place is 3400 ft. high from sea level. This is a tribal populated block inhabited by tribes mostly Kutia Kandha and Damba. The location of the school was decided at Thuamul as it has some significance besides its tribal density. The river Indrāvati starts flowing from Thuamul and most trusted and popularly worshipped goddess of Kalahandi District Maa Manikeswari first appeared on the same place. There is the ADIPITHA of Maa Manikeswari there.
The residential school plays home to about 163 students and 17 members of staff. It provides its wards with hostel accommodation and three square meals each day, but the scarcity of power and clean drinking water was a major hurdle for their education and livelihood. With no electricity, students depended on kerosene lamps which had negative impact on their health as well as study routine. The only source of water was from the adjacent river of Indravati that often tends to dry up. With the shortage of water, toilets, bathrooms and suitable sanitation arrangements were not completely installed.
To address these obstacles of the school, Sewa International that finds credence in the value of a good education came forward to help the school. Under the Clean Tech Initiative, Sewa International promotes and implements clean tech energy solutions in remote and inaccessible areas of India where power through conventional modes has not yet reached. A survey was conducted by Crux Power Private Limited that resulted in the proposal for the 5kWp Solar Power Plant to operate all major loads including fans, CFL Lights and Computer, Television provision in the hostel and school.
As per the proposal, the construction of power plant was completed towards the end of April, 2016. The lighting and electrical power support for classrooms and hostel were provided through a 5kWp off- Grid rooftop solar power plant. Secondly, an RO based water Purification system of 1000 Liters Per Hour was set up to cater the needs of the students and also the resident villagers nearby. Along with it, an overhead tank was constructed to meet the sanitation need of the students. The 5kWP Solar Power plant is tentatively generating an average of 20 kWh electricity units per day.
Sewa International believes this project would help developing an eco-friendly and disease free environment for the students and staff at the residential school in the Kalahandi district. Further it will be a model project for other residential schools in Odisha.