Solar electrification for 113 schools in Uttar Pradesh
According to the Annual Status of Education Report 2016, analysis based on data from government schools in 70 districts of Uttar Pradesh, the below were the results:
Despite the obvious connection between electricity and educational achievement, however, as one expert laments, in the educational community, “we focus largely on pedagogy and little on access to energy”. Such an absence of focus is detrimental because, as another study put it, “education is also widely recognized as one of the most essential components for poverty reduction”. True, just having great school infrastructure is not sufficient to improve learning outcomes, but it is certainly a necessary condition.
Art of Living Foundation is a responsible and social enterprise working diligently towards rural development since many years. Under the aegis of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Rural Development Program Trust (SSRDP) implemented the HCL foundation initiative to solar electrify 113 schools in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh where the grid had not yet reached. This project that started on August 28, 2017 was successfully completed on October 14, 2017 in a short span of just 47 days wherein HCL foundation arranged for the funding and SSRDP implemented the complex project.
The implementation journey
- HCL foundation has adopted 113 government schools in 3 blocks of Hardoi district i.e. Kachhauna, Bahender, Kothawa in Uttar Pradesh to achieve their objective of walking towards electrification and eventual digitalization of the schools
- 30 engineers trained under the SSRDP skill development program were hired as interns to implement the project
- A warehouse for storage of procured material was provided by HCL in Sandila town which was approximately 80 kms from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh
- The majority of the critical components for the project such as solar panels, inverters batteries and structures were sourced from various parts of India and made available to the implementation team. The rest of the installation material was sourced from the Lucknow market.
- A total of six Bolero Jeeps were hired for transportation of material from the warehouse to the schools
- SSRDP implementation team would work closely with the HCL foundation coordinators present in each block to strategise the way forward so as to effectively install solar electricity across the 113 schools. These coordinators would act as mediators between HCL foundation and SSRDP providing necessary support whenever required.
- The project was implemented in two phases :
- Initial 15 days were utilies for setting the ground for solar installation
- Foru generators were hired to do the basic drilling and initial wiring related project
- The entire civil work including fixing the structure for the solar panels on the roof top and the structure for the solar batteries
- This phase involved Affixing the solar panels on the roof-top
- This was followed by developing a wiring system to enable electricity to flow from the solar panels to solar batteries
None of the schools were connected to grid and as a result of which implementation has to be started form scratch including hiring generators to do the basic drilling and wiring
The implementation team of the 6 vehicles had to travel daily on an average 175 kms of ‘kachha’ rural village roads back and forth from the warehouse in Sandila tow and between indicidual schools
Roads leading to Shcools did not had ‘pakka’ roads andtime taken to reach from one schoolto another was on average 2 to 2.5 hours
The vehicles would even get stuckin the muddy waterlogged village roads frequently and at times tractors/bullock carts were engaged to pull out the vehicles from the muddy roads
Solar electrification of 113 schools in rural areas of Hardoi district, Uttar Pradesh
Impacted more than 5,600 students across all the solar electrified schools
Enabled a platform to engage interns and gettingthem hands-on training during execution of live projects