Saturday, March 3, 2018

Renewable Energy, Women & Sustainable Development in India

A study says, about 1.1billion people worldwide are dependent on Renewable Energy. And, renewable energy will play a leading role both in developed and developing countries in coming future. Research on various energy sectors on the usage of energy suggest that Women have an important role to play in sustainable energy development. Renewable energy and gender equality are preconditions for sustainable development and for the management of climate change; this is envisioned by SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA 2030 of the United Nations.
Given the critical role of energy in enabling sustainable development, efforts are on for sustainable energy delivery. A number of small-scale solutions that increase women’s opportunities and enhance sustainability have recently been implemented by UNDP-UNEP PEI, and UN Women. Their aim is to make climate and environment policies more gender sensitive and bring women to a clean energy path and include them in climate resilient initiatives. These are also combined with actions at the political level and linked with national policy processes in order for structural reforms. The basic objectives are:
1. Involvement of WOMEN in decision making and to play leadership role while promoting decentralized renewable energy access and reap benefit from renewable energy for economic empowerment.
2. Promotion of Women’s productive use of Renewable Energy and reduce their time dedicated to unpaid care and domestic work.
3. Applying a cross-sectional approach to gender while formulating climate and energy policy and build capacity integrating gender.
4. Remove barriers to investment, create equal opportunities for women entrepreneurship, employment and access to technology.
5. Funding the implementation of gender-sensitive energy and climate solutions by influencing a country’s budget process.
India has committed to generate at least 40% of its electricity from non-fossil sources by 2030. Currently India accounts for 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. India has to play an important role in achieving the goal of halting the effects of climate change by restricting the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
In the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Morocco, delegates from 200 countries declared that fighting climate change was “an urgent duty”. India’s increasing focus on expanding the use of clean energy is therefore critical. It is also a step towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7, which emphasizes universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy and increasing the share of renewables in the global energy mix.
The lack of access to clean and affordable energy also has a direct link to violence against women. Women in countryside mostly go out to collect firewood in remote, isolated and difficult geographic terrains, and are therefore more vulnerable to violence. In addition, dependence on wood disrupts natural resilience and produces vulnerabilities and even accelerates climate change with trees being cut for fuel.
In Rural India, women still spend up to 5 hours a day collecting fuel for cooking, as part of their unpaid, unrecognized and unaccounted care work—the work that restricts the opportunity for education, paid employment and economic advancement. Further, the use of bio-mass fuel causes severe and long-term health problems such as respiratory diseases. The World Health Organization reports that, in India 500,000 deaths occur every year due to unclean cooking fuels.
Improving energy access would reduce the toiling labor of women’s unpaid care work and will enable them to access education and employment options and enhance their livelihoods. Clean cooking fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), biogas and other options such as solar energy can help eliminate the hazards of indoor air pollution in approximately 140 million Indian households that rely on open fires and biomass for cooking. Access to energy for women also results in positive gains for the ecosystem. For example, the electrification of rural communities can result in a 9% increase in female employment, and a staggering 23% increase in the probability of rural women working outside the home. According to a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, empowering women to participate in India’s economy on an equal basis with men would add $3 trillion to the nation’s economy by 2025.
Enabling women’s access to energy also results in improvements to their social conditions. Women invest 90% of their income back into their families and their welfare, which has a positive and lasting effect for generations to come. Hence investments in women’s access to energy are very much critical.
A visionary Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi at the helm of affairs has always stressed on women empowerment and his slogan “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” is a definitive step with regard to empower women from birth itself. After 70 years of Independence, the Modi Govt is slated to develop India and bring about a NEW INDIA with Make In India concept and overhaul the economy through modernization and social change.
The government’s ambitious Ujjwala scheme spearheaded by Sri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, which provides LPG connections at reduced rates to women from Below Poverty Line households, is a useful example for women’s access to energy. The scheme is boosted by public investment in clean energy, incentives such as subsidies and taxes, and communities’ access to finance, awareness and education.
In the sidelines of COP22, UN Women unveiled its partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to address barriers holding up women entrepreneurs, enable women’s participation and leadership in energy policies, and the productive use of sustainable energy.
With a keen interest to intensify and assessing the women’s energy needs in India Dy. Exe. Director of UN Women Mr. Yannick Glemarec met multiple Indian officials during May 2016.  They held discussions on challenges in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in India and expediting the energy needs of women thereby implementing Sustainable Development Goals. The mission was sought to strengthen, plan and implement “Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy (WESE)”, which is a Joint Venture between UNEP (United Nation Environment Protection Program) and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Govt. of India. The flagship program on “Women’s Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Energy” is supported by the UK’s department for international development and are being implemented in four states—Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh during 2017. Aim is to impact on 100,000 disadvantaged women, by providing better access to sustainable energy.
This program, which weaves together women’s economic empowerment and sustainable energy for all, is seen as a key means of implementation of the gender equality and women’s empowerment compact. The partnership is an example of a concrete commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment and SDG 7 on energy access that is affordable and clean.
Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan recently stressed on the importance of energy in the development of the country, and assured the students of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) that the government was committed to extend all kinds of cooperation to the institutions and researchers. Speaking at the 6th International Conference on Advances in Energy Research at IIT Bombay, Mr.Pradhan said that scientific innovations could only be beneficial to the country’s economy if the general public was able to reap the benefits of such innovations. According to him, “There is no alternative to affordable, accessible, clean, sustainable energy, and our government is committed to extend all kinds of cooperation to our institutions and researchers”.
Empowerment of women is closely linked to the country’s energy economy and this goal is driving investments in the entire gas value chain, Sri Pradhan said at a two-day international conference on ‘LPG: Catalyst for social change’, during September 2016.
“Energy economy and women’s empowerment are closely linked. LPG is a source of clean fuel to millions of poor households in the country and an effective tool for empowering women from poor households and for bringing about social change,” according to Mr. Pradhan who is taking up the mantle at national level for driving clean & green energy for all.
The Petroleum Ministry under the leadership of Mr. Pradhan is all set for a Rs.300crore Start Up Fund in the Clean Energy space. According to him, “Start-ups will be encouraged in oil, gas and bio-fuels space to develop technologies which are affordable and accessible to help oil marketing, research and development companies”. This in turn will be promoting entrepreneurship and women will be prioritized. These funding will be encouraged to monetize urban waste and rural agricultural waste in generation of biofuels.
The stage is all set for women in Solar powered gender revolution in Rural India. Many organizations are working alongside Government to empower women in becoming solar entrepreneurs to improve their livelihoods fulfilling SDG8 of the Sustainable Development Goals listed out by UN Women. The major distributed renewables are solar lighting, home solar systems, mini-grids are impacting women. These are going to revolutionize gender balance in a country that looks down upon women and sexual discrimination and assault are very frequent.
UNDP Mission in India in partnership with MNRE, GoI, has many success stories to tell.
Rajasthan’s Solar Sahelis (Solar Friends), a women group that formed an innovative social enterprise which promotes renewable energy products such as solar-powered lamps and household appliances to communities living in hard-to-reach areas.
These are just stepping stones, and though the road ahead is challenging, but the leadership of Indian Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi is set to bring about economic development along with social change is a definitive step to muster in sustainable development in Renewable Energy in sync with UN’s 2030 agenda. GREEN CLEAN NEW INDIA!!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My HR Blues...

My HR Blues...

Real Case Scenario 1
It was a hot day of summer during April and I was waiting for a candidate to come for an interview. Actually I had shortlisted his resume from a sourced list of 10 resumes fitting our requirement for a technical position. He has an excellent track record as was evident from his resume and my earlier telephonic talk with him. But then on that day he got late for the scheduled interview which was aligned with our Technical Manager.

After 20 minutes of waiting the Tech Manager got pissed off as he was getting late for a team meeting and our candidate didn’t turned came. Our tech manager simply stands up and rejected the candidate and left for the meeting.

I got busy and then suddenly after 15 minutes the candidate turned up at my office sweating profusely. I told my HR Executive to let him freshen up and have something to drink. Afterwards when the candidate came to me, he explained that while coming by auto he faced an accident and then had to run all the way to our office in the heat of the day for the interview. He was extremely apologetic for the incident and late coming.

To his utter surprise I just told him that he is hired and discussed on the salary and joining date. The candidate was very happy to join our organization.

On the scheduled date of joining the candidate came in time and joined. As the time passed, he turned out to be one of the best performers of the team and an asset for the organization. 

The same Tech Manager is all praise for him.

Real Case Scenario 2
Once when I was Heading HR for a media firm, I used to come across lot of candidates who want to join media industry and approach me. I used to take interviews or ask my subordinates to take care of those candidates.

Then one busy afternoon, a technically educated fresher guy came to my office. Due to my busy schedules that day, he had to wait for a long time and my subordinates keep asking me if I can meet him. After a long time my executive came and told me that boy was in tears and hungry too. Actually I came to understand that he is a very needy guy in search of a career in media sector. I didn’t had any positions vacant for him, but then my conscience told me to meet the boy.

I called him up and upon meeting him, I got to know about his technical qualifications and his keenness in media as he has earlier done entertainment stage programs. I found that hint which is required in a candidate the eagerness and enthusiasm. I told him to wait outside and consulted with our Head of Programming and hired him as an intern with little stipend.

After couple of months he turned out to be one of the best team player with all round activity that is required in the production set of various entertainment programs. He thanked me for giving him the required career.

At present he is employed in a reputed media house abroad and sometimes when I think about him, I feel good in shaping up career of a needy person.

Now, both the real case scenarios are of part of many such situations that happened in my career as a HR professional. Sometimes we just reject the candidates out of blue or let the candidates wait for long just to have an interview. And most Recruiters will agree that in lot of cases, the candidates themselves opt out even if they get selected to join to the utter dismay of the recruiter.

You can’t help it… This is life and you have to get on with it…

Surprisingly, my talent acquisition experience tells me, don’t always look for that perfect resume to select or perfect employee to retain. There are always a human touch to everything… one has to also look for the enthusiasm and value addition a surprise candidate may bring even if he/she has an average resume on display.

A best “would be” employee might not show up all professionally attired or that confident during interview.

What do you say my HR folks??? AM I WRONG?? OR you agree with me??


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Tryst with the Lord of Universe: Lord Jagannath of Puri

"14th November" its a date that symbolizes the Children's Day in India. But, this 14th November of year 2010 has a day to reckon with, which marked a sensational awakening inside my little atheist exterior.

12th November 2010, early morning my wife got up from bed with a dream, where she saw both of us together inside the abode of Lord Jagannath of Puri. This was quite a so called invitation from the Lord Himself. It so happened, our marriage took place on 6th June 2010 and it was customary for a newly wedded Hindu couple in Orissa to visit the temple of Lord Jagannath and pay respect to HIM. Also, the whole process of marriage begins with an Invitation to Lord Jagannath. But, as we both (me & my wife) got entangled in social and professional ties, it wasn't possible for both of us to visit Puri, even though we have been in Bhubaneswar, which is very near to Puri. So, this dream got us on our toes and made us to visit Puri which we made on 14th November 2010. It was 11am when we left Bhubaneswar and reached Puri at around 1pm, then from the car parking we took one Rickshaw (a cart with hood pulled by man) to reach the temple main gate (singhadwara: Lion Gate). The gate is directed by Aruna Stambha {a huge monumental pillar atop which the charioteer of Lord Surya (the SUN) sits in a way saluting Lord Jagannath}. Then started the journey inside the temple going up through the 22 steps (the path to salvation):

1. 1st five steps describes all five Sense Organs, organs are eye, ear, nose, tongue, skin.

2. 2nd five steps describes five breathing (Prana): up-breathing (prana), down-breathing (apana), back-breathing (Vyana), out-breathing (Udana), on-breathing (Samana), (Prana, in its capacity of the life force in breath, takes five separate forms. These five vital forces (pancha prana) breathe life into body).

3. 3rd five steps describe the inner Beauty: looks (rupa), aesthetics (rasa), taste (swada), smell (gandha), noise (shabda).

4. 4th five steps describe the Panchamahabhutas: earth, water, fire, air, space.

5. 21sth step is for wisdom and the 22nd is for ego. After crossing each step, devotee can see the Lord of the universe of Shri Jagannath.

Crossing the 22nd step you really feel like loosing your EGO and enter the abode of the Lord. Then we purchased Prasad (dry sweet items for offering to the 3 deities: Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, & Subhadra) and found a young priest to perform the puja. He took us around the temple to the ticket counter to get the entry pass, but it was already 2pm and the counter got closed. We both got disheartened and were in a very sorry state for the situation and the chance of not seeing the Lord. Completely devastated, we sat near the Mukti Mandap (a heightened pillared outdoor hall of 38'.0" X 38'.0" size located towards south gate which was reconstructed during 1580 AD). It was distressing and we were simply inside our heart praying God that since YOU called us here, YOU only will show us the way, and I had made up mind that with out the complete Darshan (glimpse/view) we aren't going out. Then suddenly out of nowhere, one Sebayata (worker of Lord Jagannath) called as Mr. Satya Narayana Gochhayat came to us and after listening to our plight, took us personally inside the temple by cordoning off the rest public and within minutes we were inside the Garbhagruha (the sanctum sanctuary: the inside of the Main Temple where the 3 deities are sitting). The moment we crossed the main door and stepped inside the Garbhagruha, it was simply ecstatic, and we were completely transformed into some senseless entities, totally speechless in front of the Lord sitting atop the Ratna Simhasan or Ratna Bedi (a raised platform known as Ratnabedi or Mahabedi 16'.0" long X 13'.0" wide X 4'.0" high, it is believed that inside the Ratnabedi one lakh Salagram: a dark stone symbolizes Lord Vishnu, are kept). In that weak moment, we felt ourselves being dragged by an non-existing heavenly force that took us from one deity to the other and then around the Ratna Bedi. The entire place was heavenly and describing the feeling is next to impossible. It is the sheer faith of us on Lord Jagannath that HE listened to us and sent HIS person/worker to lead us to HIM. Then, once we are out of the Garbhagruha having made success this Birth that we have in this earth, we along with Mr.Satya Narayan went around the temple premises visiting different other Deities and went inside the temple of Maa Maha Laxmi (The Goddess of Wealth and wife of Lord Jagannath/Vishnu) by passing all the people in the line straight near Maa Laxmi and did puja (worship) inside the temple in HER feet. I had got the opportunity to put the Sindoor (holy red powder adorning Indian Hindu married women's head) from Maa Laxmi's forehead on the hair lines of my wife, and this was a very sacred moment for both of us. This was followed by our going inside the main temple of Lord Jagannath and we watched the most secret and sacred process of offering 56kinds of heavenly food to the 3 deities. The process is very sacred and 7 ton of food (prasad) is offered to the deities when the priest sees the image of the 3 GODs in the water in his both palms. I will be more precisely put forth all the details in coming days regarding the process. There after we got the opportunity to have the prasad (food offered to Lord) and Mr. Satya Narayan came all the way leading us to the exit gate called Dakshina Dwara (South Gate). Finally, we took a blissful and content journey back to Bhubaneswar in the evening.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ask me WHY?

I never thought,
I would be falling for u...
I never thought,
I will be missing u...
I never thought,
I will be hurting u...
I never thought,
I will be loving u...
I fell in love with u....
You ask me why??
Coz' I miss U...
You ask me why??
Coz' I hate U...
You ask me why??
Coz' I am not supposed to Love U...
You ask me why??
Coz' I fear hurting U...
You ask me why??
Coz' I can't live without U...
You ask me why??
Coz' I am crazy about U...
You ask me why??
Coz' I am not fit for U...
You ask me why??
I know, U know... WHY??
Or, is it that U R pretending
Or, may be am flirting???
U might be testing,
And, in the end...
I might be dying???
All this have a reason...
Only Coz'
You don't care,
Or, may be my fear of loosing U...
Tempts me to hold back,
Bringing in all the negative feelers...
Silently and slowly,
Dragging me to the...
Lake of sorrow
Ocean of tears
Valley of death
End of life

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Scorpio: On First Love

Well it is said that Scorpios are better lovers and passionate too. Though I can't comment on any others, I have seen scorpios. So, this time it's for all the people in the globe, who believe in love and passion, the way as I do, are welcome to join and be a part of this community.........
I never was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and sweet
Her face it bloomed like a flower
And stole away my heart complete
My face seemed turned to pale
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked “what could I ail”
My life and all seemed turned to clay
I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before
My heart has left its dwelling place
And could return no more.

In Search of Twilight


Silent dark night,
A smooth breeze is blowing,
The thought of you, driving me wild
Sitting atop my aisle
I search for you, in my soul
C’mon, c’mon……..
My heart wants more

It was winter, I met you
The place……..
Oh!! It’s the World Wide Web
It started with a HIT!!!
A mere virtual visit……
A series of mails and replies
With links to funny places
An invitation for virtual tour
Then, it happened…….


By summer, this has reached its peak
With feelings, emotions, thoughts
All intertwined…….
You & I, became
This has all, gone so far
It is the belongingness,
That matters all
And that of loyalty, passion, forgiveness,
Plus, lot others that account for………

WE are countless miles away
But we meet everyday
The WEB as the mediator
We share our emotions
Things are now gone beyond,
And we share a bond
That is much more than LOVE

Silent dark night,
A smooth breeze…………
Our heart wants more.



I hate you dear
Coz I know I can't make you happy
All the things that U ever wanted,
I may be a glass in between
And, so I hate you
Or, that is what I started pretending...

I hate you dear
Coz I know I can't bring the moon for U
All that is needed,
Honesty, Truthfulness, Open Hearted
Is not some of my qualities
And, so I hate you
Or, as I am not very Understanding...

I hate you dear
Coz I know I won't be there,
If at least you should need me
Diplomatic, as I am also very Sarcastic
And, so I hate you
Or, because I am a crazy lunatic

I hate you dear
Coz I know I make you cry
Pride is what I feel when I see U cry
Selfishness, Egotism, Ugliness in desire
Is what filled inside me
And, so I hate you
Or, because my heart gonna dry

I hate you dear
Coz I know I don't care for U
I make you sick,
With each passing day
Demanding, Dominating, Degrade
Is what I always do to U
And, so I hate you
Or, because I always ACT,
As if, I Love You, I Miss You, I Cry for You, I Cherish You, I Respect You, I Feel You, Hold You,,,,,,

I hate you dear
Coz I know I never wanted U near
As the time flies,
My philosophy of Holding Back things
Has come to an END.....
With the Volcano Inside erupting,
And with the Lava flooding....
I am now opening myself, out of the closed space
To share my thoughts and secrets, And...
Just to let you know the three words,
That I hold on to myself till today,


©Prabin K Padhy