How Dharnai, a village in Bihar, went India's first fully solar powered village - PatnaBeats

How Dharnai, a village in Bihar, went India’s first fully solar powered village

Electricity is now considered one of the basic necessities, gone are the days when it was considered a luxury. During the 69th Independence Day speech Hon’ble PM mentioned about electrifying the remaining Un-Electrified (UE) villages in the Country would be electrified within 1,000 days with the help of States and local bodies, but to no surprise this feat still needs to be achieved fully. Electricity generation. India’s Ministry of Power launched Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) as one of its flagship programs in July 2015 intending to provide round-the-clock power to rural areas. The program focused on reforms in the rural power sector by separating feeder lines for rural households from those for agricultural applications and strengthening transmission and distribution infrastructure. A previous scheme for rural electrification, Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) was subsumed into the new scheme. As of 28 April 2018, 12 days ahead of the target date, all Indian villages (a total of 597,464 census villages) were electrified. 

Although rural electrification has been achieved to some extent but electricity to a major extent in India is generated by coal which again becomes a problem as coal reserves in India are limited, we don’t have an unlimited supply of coal, so we need to find alternatives to coal. Some of the renewable sources which we can use are- Sunlight, Water, and Wind. Although the use of renewable energy is not that easy and cheap still we have an example of a village named Dharnai , Dharnai is a small village located in the district of Makhdumpur, Jehanabad in the Indian state of Bihar. It is located approximately 73 km from the state capital Patna. While the cities prospered with 3G and 4G connections villages like Dharnai still struggled to get electrified. Dharnai, which did not have access to electricity for thirty years, is now different as it declared itself an energy-independent village last July and became the first fully solar-powered village in India. There are electric poles all around, well-lit houses, bright streets, and hopes for a better future. Earlier children used to cut short their leisure time and run to their homes, women used to make their dinners before dark, and men used to return to their houses before but now things have changed for good. This has not only provided electricity but has opened lots of avenues such as education, and small businesses. Since the darkest corners are well lit so the community is safer at night.

Apart from meeting the daily requirements of the villagers, this change has also created livelihood opportunities for them as many people have been employed for the operation and maintenance of the grid. The residents of Dharnai can also work for longer hours now, which has increased their revenue potential. This feat was achieved with the financial assistance of the Greenpeace foundation an independent global campaigning network.

The way Dharnai was electrified using solar power the same idea could be replicated in other villages as well which can help them to utilize the naturals resources in a better way and in this way there would be less burden on non-renewable resources and would become a better place to live in.

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