> Awareness Campaign
Borogora, Ajodhya Pahar, Puruliya
Borogora is a village deep inside the Puruliya district of West Bengal
comprising of 14 families nestled in the lap of the picturesque Ajodhya Hills.
They have no food, no education, no medical facility, no power and no
sustainable livelihood. Their only source of livelihood is the wood that they
collect from the surrounding forest and, if they are lucky, sell them at
a price to purchase some rice. Else they survive on a beetroot,
which is inedible for us living in the civilized world.
They vote every time, have got job cards under the National
Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, but they do not know how to
collect the money from the Post Office, which is far off.
Their only source of water is a seasonal rivulet some distance
away and diarrhoea is rampant. A primary health center is
located 18 kms away but no one of the village has seen the place.
Utility of Solar Lanterns (left) and
Solar Cookers (right) are being explained to the villagers of Borogora
Jamespur, Sundarban, South 24-Parganas
When rest of the world was celebrating new year's eve on 31
December, 2011, a child was born at the remote village Jamespur in
Sundarbans after a night-long complicated procedure. The Solar
Lantern used at the OT was provided by Sulekha.
Jhargram, Jangalmahal, Paschim Medinipur
On 6 January, 2012, at a function at Jhargram, Hon'ble Chief
Minister of West Bengal Sreemati Mamata Banerjee distributed 1000
Solar Lantern among the tribals of Jangalmahal. All those lanterns
were supplied by Sulekha.
Rava Banabasti, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri
The area development fund from MLA of Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri
District was utilized for distribution of Solar Cookers (for the
first time in the state of West Bengal the Area Development Fund of
an MLA was utilized to provide Solar Cookers for community cooking
solutions) and Solar Lanterns among BPL tribal community living in
the Rava Banabasti, Jaldapara Reserve Forest – Sulekha being an
active collaborator in the project.
MLA of Alipurduar Mr.
Debaprasad Ray distributes Solar Cookers and Solar Lanterns among
Rava villagers while the local crowd watches eagerly.
Sabrakone, Taldangra, Bankura
The second project followed in May 26th, 2012 at Bankura. FREED with
WBREDA provided smokeless solar cooker to the Sabrakone Balika
Vidyalaya Girls’ Hostel, at Taldangra within LWE Block to help the
girl students coming from SC, ST and BPL families. Sulekha provided
the logistics support and coordination. Several Solar Lanterns were
distributed here as part of Sulekha’s CSR Program.
Photo shows Hon’ble Minister
Sri Shyam Mukhopadhyay watching intently a demo on Solar Cooker at Sabrakone
near Taldangra on 26-May-2012
To develop an awareness and innovative policy and indigenous structure for creation of commodious life with zero environmental damages by focusing on countering climate change and transition to Low carbon sustainable and inclusive economic growth, FREED organized “
The program was inaugurated by Madame Abida Islam, Deputy High Commissioner for Bangladesh at Kolkata and Swami Atmapriyananda, Vice Chancellor, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, Belur Math, West Bengal. All the stakeholders, including academia, government, industries and civil society combined together to discuss, exchange ideas and take steps to safeguard the environment for a better future.
Other partners and speakers included: National Council of Science Museums, Ministry of Finance, GoI, Ministry of Environment, GoWB, WBREDA, WBGEDCL, WBPCB, Global Change Program (Jadavpur University), School of Oceanographic Studies (Jadavpur University), American Center, Meghalaya REDA, Tripura REDA and WWF.
A collage of the Seminar
The seminar aimed to address the different issues and identify ways in which the use of non conventional energy can lead to a sustainable and inclusive growth. It also tried to seek opportunities whereby the consortium of industry, academia, policy makers and government can be formed to ensure realistic applications which will address local needs and are community focused, environmentally friendly, financially healthy, and replicable.
Other associates included: National Council of Science Museums, WBREDA, Coal India, WBGEDCL, WBPCB and West Bengal Waste Land Development Corporation Limited.
Hon’ble MIC for Railways, GoI and several state cabinet ministers were also present.
A poster of the Seminar tells it all
In October 2012, Sulekha and FREED organized a unique event – two cyclists
and a tableau travelled from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal,
covering a distance of some 1200 km. Starting from Alipurduar, the
campaign touched places like Kochbihar, Falakata, Mainaguri,
Malbazar Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Darjiling, Raiganj, Maldah,
Baharampur, Krishnanagar, Barasat, Diamond Harbour and Kakdwip.
Innumerable villages, panchayats, schools and market-places along the route
were also covered creating awareness over a very large area and population of West Bengal.
The event aimed at spreading awareness and sensitizing campaigns on:
(a) Preserving our environment
(b) Use of Solar energy
(c) Rain Water Harvesting
(d) Energy Conservation
(e) Clean Energy
covering more 11 districts of the state, many municipalities, panchayats, schools and colleges, Government offices and markets. This has resulted in a major positive impact in favour of Solar energy solutions in these region and a lot of enquiries are being generated regularly. Please note that this venture was also supported by WBREDA, Department of Environment (Govt. of WB) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited.
Utility of Solar Panels and Solar Energy being explained to
interested onlookers at Kochbihar (left); school-children being introduced to Solar Lanterns at
the Mall of Darjiling
A member of the tableau answers to queries from some inquisitive
hermits near Gorumara National Park in Jalpaiguri (left); the tableau on its return journey from Kakdwip to Kolkata
To usher in the Durga Puja festival, Department of Tourism,
Govt. of West Bengal organised the 2nd International Kolkata Kite
Festival 2012 at the Maidans on 15 October, 2012. To instill the
idea of utilising more and more of Solar Energy and less and less of
conventional energy among the young minds who participated in
the festival, Sulekha extended its support to make the event a grand
The clay modellers of Kumartuli in Kolkata, are always hard-pressed
to complete their idols on time — be it sun or rain, be it light or
darkness. So FREED, an NGO, supported by Sulekha, came forward to
help the clay modellers by spreading the message of Solar Energy in
the form of Solar Lanterns that can help them immensely in
completing their assignments as per schedule no matter whether there
is power-cut or not.
As a symbolic gesture,
Smt. China Paul, the sole woman clay modeller at Kumartuli, was
chosen so that simultaneously with the message of Solar Energy, the
message of Women Empowerment (Matri Sakti) is also
Shyampukur MLA Dr. Sashi
Panja hands over a Sulekha Solar Lantern to Smt. China Paul
(left); Smt. Paul painting the third eye of Goddess Kali and thus
highlighting Matri Sakti