The energy deprived state of Manipur has produced the first 100% solar powered village in the North East Region. Atom Khuman is a small village, 20 kms away from Imphal West District of Manipur. The population of the village is over 150 and there are 30 houses in the village.
This village was chosen as a model village for realizing the enterprise’s goal of targeting ‘100 solar villages in Manipur 2016-17’. Another purpose was to spread an awareness how green technologies like solar products can cure the problem of load shedding in the state. To create smoothness in this initiative, the organization has formulated ‘easy installment’ for the solar devices. The organization did not want to increase financial burden upon the villagers. Therefore, with the mutual understandings of both the villagers and the organization, a decision was put to collect Rs 18 daily.
The solar lighting system have been installed in all the 30 houses. The solar home lighting system consist of a 40 watt solar panel, 20 Ah solar battery, charge controller, four numbers of DC LED bulbs and other accessories like wire, switch, holders etc. It can light up to four rooms and also charge a mobile phone. In addition to the 30 houses, the organization contributed to lighting up the temple/mandir, primary schools, streets and playground with solar power. For entertainment and recreation of the villagers, the organization has installed a LED TV and a solar power pack .
The programme was launched on February 9, 2016. The villagers actively participated in the distribution of the solar power packages. It took almost 3 days to install the solar system in all the houses and the streets. The organization has successfully collected the installments for 15 months and monitored the progress of the project for sometime before announcing it as the first village to be fully solar powered. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs 5 lakhs. The amount was paid from the organization. There were no external supports.
Surjit Ningthoujam, founder and proprietor of Mangaal Rural said, “We are a very small enterprise with a turnover of around Rs. 2 crores. So, donating an amount of Rs. 5 lakh to create a model village (entirely run by solar) was the biggest challege. But, we decided to go ahead as we need to prove that load sheding is not a chronic disease like cancer and can be easily overcome with the used of solar energy. Nowadays, the power situation in the state has extremely improved with the coming of new government in the state otherwise load shedding was a topic of discussion in every family of Manipur on every evening. Even in my family, my mother would ask if today is load shedding or not. And it is the question which every family discussed every evening. So, we decided to create a model village and remove the fear of load shedding from the mind of the people.”
The organization has not received any assistance from the government. But Surjit will start approaching to various investors and banks so that they get the resources to expand the project to unelectrified villages of Manipur. The priority now will be to reach to the maximum places in the hills as most infrastructure development has not reached due to lack of energy.
As a message, Surjit said, “We would request the government and various media houses to build up a good image of North Eastern States as we got the best human resources and the law & order condition has also improved a lot. So, it is the right time to attract various investors in North East India.”
Mangaal Rural has also launched this project to various other villages like Thanga Part-II, Chairel village and places like Bungte Khulen, Trunglaobi, Khudekpi, Leimaram, Torbung Bazar Mamang, Ngarian, Phoungakchou Ikhai etc. Mangaal Rural was recently in the news for producing the first 100% computer literate in the north east region.