Manipal’s Bharatiya Vikas Trust bags Ashden Award under energy access skills category

The Trust has been working on harnessing solar energy since 2001

Bharatiya Vikas Trust (BVT), Manipal, established by late T.A. Pai, has bagged the Ashden Award 2021 in the ‘Energy Access Skills’ category.

Trust’s Master Trainer Sudhir Kulkarni and Consultant Sudeeptha Ghosh received the award from Costa Rica President Charlos Alvarado Quesada during the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom, on November 4.

The award, besides comprising a purse of £20,000, facilitates the winner to exchange ideas and concepts with other organisations working in sustainable energy sector. Ashden has been working towards finding solutions for climate change since two decades, and has been conferring the awards upon organisations working towards the same goal. Over 800 organisations had pitched for this year’s awards while two from India, including BVT, were among the 37 winners in nine categories.

Various initiatives of the BVT create employment besides alleviating the impact of climate change. The Trust trains and educates people on imbibing environment-friendly skills in line with the global practice of deploying environmental-friendly measures.

A team from Ashden went through the work of the Trust during a visit as part of the evaluation process.

Thrust on solar energy

The Trust has trained over 1,000 employees of its stakeholders in solar energy skills in the last two decades, and worked for employment generation for the youth as well as executed works in rural development. It aims at extending its work area to across the country and that involves training to stakeholders as well as consumers.

T.A. Pai, one of the architects of Manipal, founded the Trust. His wife Vasanthi Pai later led the initiatives centering around women empowerment. Retired agriculture technology officer from Syndicate Bank K.M. Udupa expanded its growth and focused on renewable energy inspired by Harish Hande. Working towards self-employment through human resources empowerment, the Trust focuses on bringing change in the life of the common man rather than any immediate gain.

If a bank officer is convinced about the benefits of solar energy, he would extend financial support to the eligible person. Though the result of this action might not be visible, it would enhance the recipient’s income and indirectly contribute to development of a village. The Trust has been exploring and executing available opportunities in this direction.

Reliable and affordable

The Trust is working in four important directions under Managing Trustee Ashok Pai – women empowerment, renewable energy-financial institutions, rural administration management and sustainable agriculture. Eligible people undergo regular training in these fields.

Believing that reliable and affordable energy solutions are key for poverty eradication since 1996, the Trust has conducted over 1,000 training sessions on solar energy skill improvement since 2001 covering over 50,000 end-consumers. It has also trained hundreds of bank officials from 680 finance institutions.

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