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Green energy firm ReNew Power has partnered with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) to train 1,000 low-income women salt-pan workers to work in the renewable industry.
Under ‘Project Surya’ initiative, women salt-pan workers, who work in the challenging and extreme temperatures at Rann of Kutch marshes, will be trained as solar panel and solar-pump technicians at Dhokavada village in the Patan district of Gujarat, the three entities said in a joint statement on Thursday.
“In support of India’s clean energy transition, ReNew in partnership with UNEP and SEWA launched ‘Project Surya’ will train 1,000 low-income women salt-pan workers to work in the renewable industry,” it said.
ReNew is providing financial support and familiarization with its renewable facility in the area, while SEWA is the lead implementation partner, UNEP will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the project.
According to the statement, currently, these women are able to save an average of Rs 10,000 (USD 128) in around 10 months, while a solar panel technician can earn up to Rs 18,000 (USD 130) in a month.
Vaishali Sinha, Chief Sustainability Officer, ReNew, said, “this program brings these inspiring women, who face real hardship in a traditional livelihood and earn a meagre income, into the heart of the clean energy transition to better their lives and brings them into the fight against climate change.
“This programme, that is scalable, is sustainability from the ground up, rather than top-down, and we are proud to partner with UNEP and SEWA to support this.” Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator in India, commented, Team UN India is committed to supporting the clean energy transition for all, through multi-partner initiatives like this one, benefitting from India’s dynamic private sector and government leadership. Reema Nanavaty, SEWA, said “the green skills initiative will help SEWA move towards its 50 years resolve of building cleaner skies, cleaner air and cleaner water. Even though small, collectively the carbon footprints will make a significant contribution. The younger generation members of SEWA will get decent work and a life of dignity and self-respect.” SEWA is a National Trade union with a membership base of over 1.5 million poor, self-employed women workers from the informal economy across 16 states in India.