In the past few years, climate change has become a matter of concern. While there are several causes, depletion of natural and non-renewable resources is a primary one. The government, environmentalists and nature lovers are trying to raise awareness among people about protecting the environment and ensuring energy sustainability. Energy Swaraj Yatra is one such effort to alleviate climatic change and educate people about alternative natural resources to ensure energy sustainability.
This article will discuss Energy Swaraj Yatra in the context of the IAS Exam.
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Energy Swaraj Movement
The Energy Swaraj Movement is based on Gandhian ideologies. To promote awareness among common people staying in every corner of the nation, Energy Swaraj Yatra through a solar bus began in November 2020. Swaraj Yatra means a self-governing journey. It started with a mission not only to raise awareness among people, but to involve them in mitigating climate change issues.
Read more about National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), from the linked article.
Who Started the Movement?
A professor teaching at the Department of Energy Science and Engineering in IIT Bombay, and Madhya Pradesh state government’s brand ambassador for Solar Energy, Dr Chetan Singh Solanki, pledged to live and travel in a solar bus for 11 long years. His mission is to raise awareness among people to adopt solar energy and save the planet Earth.
Popularly known as the Solar Man of India, Prof. Solanki began his journey in November 2020 and will continue travelling (criss-cross) the country 7 to 8 times till December 2030. He is on a one-man mission that invokes Gandhian principles to bring change in society by making solar energy a household plan. He helps people design their solar system to make their houses self-reliant.
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What is the Action Plan?
He meets common people, central and state ministers responsible for policymaking, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and suppliers during the journey. He visits schools, colleges, institutions and NGOs. He conducts lectures, discussions, debates and demonstrations to spread information about the use of solar energy to mitigate climate change. The mission behind the movement is independence from grid-based electricity by adopting solar energy as the solution to fulfil 100% energy requirements. He believes the change will come once the common mass adopts solar energy without government directives or a subsidy framework.
The Solar Bus
Prof. Solanki designed a solar-powered bus consisting of all the facilities required for solar demonstration and training. Also, it has all the necessities required to live inside it. The Professor lives and travels in this solar bus from one location to another.
Energy Swaraj Foundation
From an award of $100,000 that Prof.Solanki received, he formed Energy Swaraj Foundation (ESF) in January 2020. It is a not-for-profit organisation that works to establish Energy Swaraj worldwide. The Foundation’s philosophy is ‘Energy by Locals for Locals’ inspired by Gandhi’s Gram Swaraj.
The Foundation believes that a significant transformation in energy generation can be achieved not by the governments or their policies but through the involvement of the public.
In its ‘public movement’ mode of operations, the Foundation works with the people to provide affordable, reliable and complete energy solutions.
The Foundation collaborates with local academic institutions to establish “Energy Swaraj Ashrams” or solar incubation centres to enable and nurture local entrepreneurs. Such localised operations are crucial to establishing Energy Swaraj.
The Foundation aims to provide quality solar energy solutions at affordable prices to billions of population worldwide. This is planned to be achieved through
(a) Local capacity building,
(b) Simplified cost-effective but quality technology solutions,
(c) Establishing a last-mile supply chain and
(d) Encouraging local entrepreneurs to provide solutions and services.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Energy Swaraj Yatra
What are Energy Swaraj Ashrams?
Energy Swaraj Ashrams are solar incubation centres (academic institutions tied up with the Energy Swaraj Foundation) that nurture local entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs are trained to provide renewable energy solutions and services to common people to become self-reliant on energy.
Derive Prof. Solanki’s motto- AMG.
Prof. Chetan Singh Solanki’s motto is AMG to avoid OMG, which means-
A- Avoid energy use
M- Minimise energy usage
G- Generate energy that you require
This will prevent OMG or Oh My God! Situation.
When was the Energy Swaraj Foundation formed?
Prof. Solanki formed The Energy Swaraj Foundation in January 2020. The Foundation promotes energy sustainability by creating awareness among the public to adopt solar energy and give up their electricity connection.
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