World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about taking action to tackle the water crisis.In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated March 22 as World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners.
Water is a basic requirement for survival, often touted as the ‘elixir of life’, but at the same time, there about 2.1 billion people on this planet who live without access to safe drinking water, spending countless hours queuing, trekking to distant locations to fetch just a few litres of water. World Water Day is an annual event celebrated on 22 March, to focus attention on the importance of water, as well as throw light on the challenges of water access that the society faces even today.
Spearheaded by UN-Water, a UN Body that coordinates the joint efforts of various UN entities, governments, and industries, this day is an annual reminder of the need to ensure global access to clean water, and the challenges associated with it.
Of the 70% water that is available on this planet, only 2.5% of it is fresh and fit for consumption. But the real issue is, how much of this is able to reach people? Sadly, 40 percent of the global population is inflicted by water scarcity, and this figure is projected to rise, even though access to clean water is a basic human right
Pollution and contamination of freshwater resources, improper industrial practices, and poor infrastructure and policy regulations are some of the major roadblocks to ensuring water access. It is alarming that about 1.8 billion people use a fecally contaminated source of drinking water; this is the leading cause of more than 2 million deaths due to diarrhoeal diseases alone. The sad truth is that nearly 1,000 children die every day, due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrhoeal diseases. More and more countries are coming under the ambit of water-stressed countries, with a majority of African countries facing severe water shortage and droughts. UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 aims to tackle this very challenge. It has several targets to achieve by 2030, chiefly encompassing equitable access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities, and pollution reduction to achieve improved water quality. This shortage can lead to severe outcomes- especially water and sanitation related diseases and adversely impacts both the people and the economy.
Answer Lies In Nature!
The first and foremost step lies in creating better infrastructure and water management practices to overcome the problem of clean water shortage. This year’s theme for the World Water Day is ‘Nature for Water’, which strives to employ solutions inspired by nature, be it in treating wastewater or recycling water. Indeed, innovative solutions are the need of the hour to achieve sustainable water management.
At Claro Energy, we have been innovating in the field of sustainable agriculture and ensuring that rural agrarian communities have access to safe and affordable water, for agricultural and consumption purposes. We have installed more than 8000 solar pumps across 16 states of India, for drinking, irrigation and sanitation purposes. Our breakthrough innovation of Pay-As-U-Go Mobile Solar Trolleys enables affordable energy and water access to the most marginal farmers who lies in the bottom line of the pyramid.
Smallest Steps Leads to Biggest Impacts
Devising a solution for this means that first we fully comprehend the gravity of the situation. Once we understand how people across the world are struggling to find sources for safe water, we will think twice before letting that tap open. At the individual level, we can do our bit by ensuring that we use water judiciously and curb pollution of the water bodies. Change begins with us and once we start taking care of small things and take small steps, bigger things will eventually fall into the place.
As they say, Every Drop Counts and each and every drop that we save may be finding its way to a world where everyone has equal access to clean water!
Written By: Vinita Srinivasan
Edited By: Priyanka
The global warming is on a rise, polar glaciers are melting, subsequently, each year sets is own benchmark as the hottest year and a many more other issues. Slowly the actions of human beings on Mother Nature is now showing the adverse effects and its high time now. Voluntary Nature Conservancy along with Claro Energy is organising a ‘Greenathon’ in order to raise awareness among the citizens and spread the message and ways to protect our planet.
About The Event:
There will be two events namely ‘Green Charotar Run’, which will be a ¼ Marathon and ‘Burn Fat not Oil’, a Cycling Fun ride. This will be a 10 km event and along with this a 2.5 km, Green Walk will also be conducted. The ¼ Marathon is in five categories and there is a single category for Cycling Fun Ride.
Why Are These Events Necessary?
In order to spread the awareness among the responsible citizens, and to promote the use of Clean and Green Energy, we must support this endeavour. Global Warming is a serious and a threatening challenge that must be tackled at the very moment. Also, the deadly pollutants are making it difficult for people to even breathe, in short, if not now, then this thing can be fatal in near future.
We must volunteer for a change, as a change is always initiated on a small scale. A minor change in lifestyle and day to day activities can show significant results in the long term. Simple steps like riding a bicycle to work, or taking a public transport for commute can be very effective. Further, by using our natural resources judiciously, we can bring in a great change as well.
Truly said by Mahatma Gandhi, “Nature has enough for Man’s need, but not for his Greed”, and we must always insist on this. Reducing our energy use can help us conserve natural resources as well as reduce pollution.
Why is a Switch towards Cleaner Energy required?
Since the beginning of the industrial era, human beings have excessively exploited the natural reserves of coal and petroleum. The coal reserves are facing the shortage of coal, there has been no new discovery of major oil fields and the level of pollution is extremely out of control. In order to keep our planet green, we must switch towards cleaner alternatives of energy like Solar, Wind and other sources. These energy forms will not just help us to save our planet, but will also cut down our bills by several times.
Energy alternatives like Solar and Wind are sustainable and are available in excessive amount. Therefore, one must take a pledge to save our planet and switch towards cleaner alternatives for day to day uses. These may be a switch from electric geyser to Solar Heater or using Solar Rooftop for electricity, use of electric vehicles and bicycles.
How Claro and VNC are together helping towards a Cleaner Society?
VNC has constantly worked for the protection of the environment with a mission to educate the masses and to spread awareness about the crucial need for environmental protection. More than 2,30,000 has been educated through this noble cause.
Claro Energy is a leading name in the Solar Irrigation industry. Our efforts have resulted in a significant cut in the CO2 emission by the use of Solar Pump sets in place of diesel pump sets. Our solar rooftop projects play an instrumental role in saving electricity and bills.
Together we are building a better future, a cleaner and greener planet. Being the responsible and aware citizens, we must act in order to protect our nature and restore its pride.
Yeoda, is a village in Dariyapur block of Amravati district, Maharashtra. it is one of the largest villages of the Amravati district with a population of around 12000 (acc to 2009 census). Agriculture is the main occupation of this village. Education, water for irrigation and household purposes, roads and electricity are the main concerns . The village still lacks proper medical and health services. It is one of those Indian villages waiting for technological developments to take place in order to progress. If government institutions provide support to the villagers, it will will see the real development.
One of the biggest problem farmers face here is lack of water and grid electricity. It’s a known fact that Maharashtra observe very frequent droughts and Amrawati is one of the worst drought affected districts. Along with droughts, low level of ground water make the matter even worse. Most of the farmers are dependent on diesel for irrigation and only cultivate one crop a year. It’s not economically viable for the farmers to produce more than one crop and irrigate it with diesel pumps. Extensive use of diesel not only pollute the environment, it eats a major share of their profits. This is the reason why in-spite of owning large share of lands to cultivate, the economic condition of the farmers doesn’t paint a very happy picture.
Switching over to solar pumps reduces the magnitude of the problem of irrigation pumps to a large extent. Claro energy installed solar pump in the village some time back and a significant transformation was noticed in the lives of the farmers. The solar pumps reduced the maintenance cost for the farmers and also contributed in the production of healthier crops and also they are now able to produce multiple crops because of the uninterrupted availability of water.
Many hurdles were faced during the installation process. Driving was not possible in this area as the black soil used to stick with the tyres of the vehicles. Lack of quality infrastructure made it difficult to commute to the fields. Material was taken from one place to another on bullock carts and on the carts attached to the backs of Donkeys and Ponies.
Mr. Purushottam Gawande, a farmer of Yeoda village said that earlier he was living under the fear of crop failure due to lack of water for irrigation. He was able to cultivate only dry crops. Dependency on expensive diesel took away a major share of the profits. Droughts, irregular rainfall added more wooes. He like many other farmers were stuck in the circle where investments were high and returns were lower.
He finally switched to solar pump for irrigation and soon he was witnessing the benefits of switching to a sustainable source. Solar pumps empowered him with access to water for round the year irrigation. With enough availability of water he started cultivating multiple crops and within a span of 2 seasons he witnessed 30-40% rise in his produce.
Mr. Gawande is really thrilled and happy with the outcomes and on a road to create awareness in whole of the village as well as in adjoining areas about solar pumping and the latest economical and environment friendly technologies.
The Asian Entrepreneurship Award was set up to reward and encourage young entrepreneurs who make the best use of technology and creativity to solve various problem. This award was introduced by the Japanese government in 2012, and since then the award function brings big and small, private and public enterprises, government and educational institutions together in one single frame to propagate a transformation in Asia. AEA aims to construct an ecosystem which will bring innovation to the entire world. It is a platform which help young entrepreneurs from all over the world to meet and inspire each other.
The AEA 2017 event is co hosted by Mitsui Fudoson, The University Of Tokyo, TX Entrepreneur Partners General Incorporated Association, and The Japan Academic Society for Ventures and Entrepreneurs.
Among the past winners of this award are some well known names:
- Clearbridge Bio Medics Pte Ltd (Singapore),
- Connexx system corporations,
- Cyfuse BioMedical K.K (Japan)
For the 2017 ceremony, being held in Tokyo from 25th october to 27th october, Claro energy has also been nominated for the AEA. This in light of the significant change that Claro Energy has brought about in the lives of rural farmers. We have been committed towards changing the rural landscape in water-scarce areas through innovative steps to improve the sector and its economy, through sustainable means. The company started in 2011 with the goal of providing irrigational facilities based on renewable energy to farmers, and replacing expensive traditional methods of using diesel powered pumps. In the past 6 years we have deployed over 7000 pumps across 15 states of India.
Like ourselves, there are many other promising entrants this year who have done a remarkable work in their respective fields and brought effective change in the world.
Below is a list of other 5 finalist with whom we will be vying for the AEA this year for their exceptional performance:
Beijing Qingfan Yuanhang Networking Technology Co. Ltd.
CEO: Wenzhu Zhang
Qingfan provide mobile innovation management tools and solutions for innovative organizations. By crowd sourcing projects, contest/competitions and workshops, an organization can leverage social power to solve problems and build a highly engaged innovative community. By community based innovation, the cost can be reduced by up to 30-50%.
CEO: Larisa Dydykinka
Webgears is a software technology company focusing on novel web-based 3D graphics for industrial applications, and gaming. Our product is a graphics engine, which lets our clients extract significantly more value from 3D models and interactive 3D graphics by almost eliminating hardware requirements and moving interactive 3D content to the cloud
CEO: Oliver Tan
ViSenze powers has created an image recognition for the retailers and enterprises. The company making the best use of technology has created a highly optimized visual solution for retailers which makes it easier for the consumer to find things they are looking for using only images. Leading retailers like H&M, uniqlo japan, SEARS use ViSenze for enhancing their shopping platforms. Major shopping sites like adidas, ASOS, Rakuten ichiba also use ViSenze. Media companies like Singapore press holdings use ViSenze. This is officially supported by mastercard. A venture backed by Rakuten and WI harper and by National University of Singapore in 2012 by web entrepreneurs and computer enthusiasts, the company aims to make people come face to face with the visual world.
CEO: Seung Min Shin
It is a professional information security company. We have been exceedingly studied ‘hacking’, and developed real-time hacking detection cloud platform ‘PLURA’ for the first time in the world.
They have changed the paradigm of security based on Big data analysis, machine learning, the largest scale of security log database in Korea, and real-time hacking detection technology.
Beijing Quality Technology Co., Ltd
CEO: Shaoxin Wang
Beijing Quality Technology is a company which offers smart air purifying solution based on AI and IoT technology. Currently, they have developed a small-scale AQI forecasting system based on big data and machine learning, a smart air purifier and a corresponding app were also developed. they also build a SaaS platform for EM, CRM and data analysis.
AEA provides a platform for all these aspiring companies to come together and inspire each other to make this world a better and a healthier place to live.
Agriculture is the largest as well as the most important professional sector in India. About half of the country’s population is dependent on the agrarian sector for employment but the whole nation is dependent on agriculture for food, the fundamental element for survival. Nowadays the occupation of farming is facing many practical challenges, some that are forcing farmers to live an economically imbalanced life. A major part of the blame for this situation can be put upon the cost of irrigation in the country. The expensive nature of non-renewable power sources (like petrol and diesel) which are used in crop production processes, especially to power pumps for irrigation, is the major reason for farmers’ financial struggle. Farmers use up most of their earnings in the frequent purchase of petrol and diesel. This burns a major hole in farmers’ pockets.
One of the solutions to deal with this issue is by switching over to renewable sources of energy to power irrigation. Solar pumping is one such method. Solar pumps are less expensive and are also easy to maintain. A one time investment provides long term benefits to farmers. These pumps only require a good amount of sunlight to work, thus saving a lot of money for farmers. They are environmentally friendly and do not pollute farmers’ habitats.
The Government of India has undertaken a number of measures to improve the conditions of farmers, especially to help them switch to solar. This includes subsidies in the purchase of solar pump sets, exemption from excise duties for solar and concession on equipment used to set up solar apparatus. Apart from this, a 30% subsidy is given to general category states and 70% to special category states, in the purchase of solar.
Despite these leg-ups, though, the farmers’ lifestyle remains unchanged. TO understand why, we have categorized the issues among the following points –
A few of the hurdles faced by farmers in switching over to solar energy:
– Although India is the second largest irrigated country in the world, only about one third of cultivable area is currently under irrigation. Irrigation forms the fundamental on which crop production is based especially in a place like India where rainfall is uncertain and unreliable.
– Farmers are unable to switch over to solar pumps or panels because primarily they are unaware about the benefits. They have no understanding of the working of the system, or about its sustainable nature.
– Small scale farmers, despite all the subsidies and schemes, are still not able to afford solar panels and pumps because they don’t have the money to make the one time investment required to set up the solar pump system. Their loans are also not easily approved because they do not possess any entity to put up for mortgage.
– The farmers residing in areas which receive a huge amount of rainfall, and do not experience too many sunny days, feel that even if they get solar pumping systems installed for their farming, it will not be much beneficial for them.
– The aged farmers have placed their faith in traditional methods of farming and do not want to look at anything beyond those. Convincing them about the harmful effects of using fossil fuels is far harder than may seem on paper.
– Because of a lack of education, many farmers are unable to understand the working of renewable energy technology – a basic understanding is needed for getting a good insight into the benefits, both financial and environmental, of this technology.
These problems of the farming system are not easy to solve. One characteristic of the current solar pumping systems could be changed to facilitate solutions for most of these problems – mobility.
- Making solar pumping sets mobile could help small scale vendors or farmers carry out their work in a more economical way. Mobility would pave the way for Solar Water Pumping sets to be used on a sharing, pay-per-use basis. They will become much more cost effective.
- Most static solar pumping sets lose out on a lot of potential energy generation because there is only so much water that a farmer will need for irrigation in an entire year of cultivation. Thus, making a solar pumping set mobile could prove to be an efficiency boosting move for solar pumping usage. The pump set could reach any particular location based on demand, and then over on to the next requirement request after completing its work at a particular location. Any customer would pay only according to the energy they have used – economical as well as useful.
- Unlike static pump sets, the farmer will be able to compare the cost of using mobile solar pumping solutions to that of renting a diesel pump set for the same duration. This gives the farmer a more realistic and clearer price comparison, as against that of the long term investment demanded by a static solar pump set.
A solution like this could not only lessen the burden from the farming system, but could also help in fighting problems like farmer suicide. It could be a positive offset for financial conditions, bad crops and failed monsoons.
The Indian Supreme court recently imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers within the Delhi National Capital Region. Earlier in 2016 around the period of Diwali celebrations, Delhi, along with some places in China, was recorded to have the world’s worst air quality for human living. One of the reasons cited for this was the bursting of firecrackers. Diwali is one of the most popular festivals in the country. According to Hindu texts, it marks the comeback of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, and also marks the Hindu new year – these events are celebrated with pomp and show, and generally, involve bursting of firecrackers too. New Delhi already deals with the problem of air pollution from extreme automobile congestion and is the 11th most populated city in the world. Lower temperature and lower winds were recorded after Diwali last year, which proved that pollutants that remained in the air would not have dispersed. This was what came to be known as the great smog of Delhi. To avoid such extreme pollution once again the Supreme Court passed a verdict to put a ban on the sale of firecrackers around the Delhi National Capital Region.
How exactly do firecrackers contribute to polluting the environment?
A firecracker is a small explosive device which when burned produces a loud noise along with colorful sparks. It is made up of many harmful chemicals and produces harmful gases when burnt which dissolve in the atmosphere and add to its contamination.
Below are a few components which make firecrackers responsible for Air pollution and respiratory issues:
Chemicals present in a firecracker:
Sulphur nitrates, magnesium, nitrogen dioxide are involved in the making of crackers. These prove to be hazardous for our respiratory systems and can cause serious ailments like asthma, lung cancer, shortness of breath, and many other respiratory diseases.
Among the components which are responsible for cracker explosion is included Antimony sulfates, which are also used in producing the head of safety matches, military ammunition and which is even suspected to cause cancer. Mercury fulminate is a primary explosive, also used in cracker production, which is sensitive to friction, causing heat and shock to the people around. Arsenic, which is inflammable in nature but is bad for the atmosphere, is also used. Lead is found in larger crackers, and lithium, which is a flammable substance used to produce explosions, is also found in many crackers.
Different types of powders involved in manufacturing:
Flash powder, cordite, smokeless powder, or black powder are a few of the ingredients involved in the manufacture of crackers, which again cause health issues for both animals and humans.
Elements like sulphur, cadmium, copper, aluminum, and barium produce resonant colors when ignited along with a huge amount of smog and gases. Nitrous oxide remains in the air for a long time if the city does not get enough rain or strong winds. The great smog of Delhi in 2016 is the greatest example of such a phenomenon.
Below is a list of the salts used to produce particular colours.
|Strontium Salts||Nitrates, carbonates, and sulphate of strontiums||· Red colour|
|Calcium Salts||carbonates, chlorides, and sulphates of calcium||· Orange colour|
|Barium Salts||Nitrates, Carbonates, Chlorides, and Chlorates of barium||· Green colour|
|Copper Salts||Carbonates and Oxides of copper||· Blue Colour|
|Combination||Copper and Strontium||· Purple Colour|
|Metals||Magnesium, Aluminum, Titanium||o White Color|
Noise Pollution: Cracker bursting not only affect the environment but it also paves way for noise pollution. The big bangs, whizzing whistles, and the thunderous sounds are no good for ears. It contributes in scaring the animals away in a very inhuman condition. Animals cannot communicate but the way these loud noises frighten them is very saddening. For example, dogs get confused on hearing these noises and seeing these lights changing in their surroundings which can be fatal for them. This sound is not even good for infants and pregnant women. The presence of aluminum, sulfur nitrate enables a cracker to produce loud sounds.
Water pollution: That’s right. Fireworks do cause water pollution as well. Many times people conduct such activities near water bodies because they want to avoid fire accidents but they end up polluting those water bodies instead. The compounds present in the cracker dissolve in the water making it poisonous and unfit for consumption, and also killing off aquatic animals.
Fire Accidents: Fire accidents are common in markets during Diwali. A small spark is enough to set fire to anything. Even Bollywood has shown some of the worst fire accidents caused by crackers e.g. in the Movie Vivaah, starting Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao in lead roles, we saw how a single blaze of fire burnt down their whole house and caused serious burns to the female protagonist. Children, while paying crackers often get injuries and burns.The Indian Express newspaper reported more than 290 fire accidents during Diwali last year
Why risk your life for momentary fun?
Garbage Problem: Under the Scheme of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Modi has encouraged the citizens of the nation to walk on the path of cleanliness, but the bursting of crackers leaves the whole nation dirty and full of garbage. A day of fun makes sweepers work with extra effort for the next 10 days to clean their designated localities.
Looking at these problems we can say that although bursting crackers is a popular tradition among us, if we look at the bigger picture then we can say that the step taken by the Supreme Court of India in posing a ban on the sale of fire-crackers, is more beneficial to us in the long run. After all, as they say ‘Health is wealth’.
Wish you all a very happy and safe Diwali.
Written By: Manaswita Sachdewa
Edited By: Anirban Banerjee
We are pleased to announce that Claro Energy has been nominated for the Asian Entrepreneurship Award 2017. The award function will be held in Tokyo from 25th October to 27th October. This is yet another step for our fight in tackling critical challenges to enable successful agriculture through sustainable solutions.
About AEA (Asian Entrepreneurship Award)
AEA works to attract young entrepreneurs who use ingenuity and technology to take on challenges from the high-growth Asia region. From large private companies to business incubators, AEA aims to form an ecosystem that brings industry, government and academia together as one to generate innovation in Asia. It also aims to bring Asian innovation to the world.
Among the co-hosts for 2017 AEA are MITSUI FUDOSON, The University of Tokyo, TEP, JASVE.
AEA is a great platform for young entrepreneurs, getting together with peers from around the world to learn from and inspire one another.
Why are we nominated?
Claro Energy has been nominated for its innovative steps, commercial viability and the social impact that it has been bringing in the lives of people. We have been trying to disrupt and improve rural agriculture with renewable energy, and we have the potential to expand and bring about changes in the economy and society.
Important Links: http: //aea.events/e/about-aea_2017/
Badakudar, is a village in Jamankira block of Sambalpur district, Odisha, with a population of 200 people. About 25 families reside in this area. The village is led by the Gram Panchayat called SIRID. The infrastructure here is so badly underdeveloped that the village does not even have roads. People have to cross a river in boats to go to the other side of the village.
Despite having grid connectivity, electricity is very irregular in this area. The population here mostly comprises daily wage earners, laborers, woodcutters and many other such people who are involved in small scale activities. Village people, including children, have to stand in large queues in order to fetch water because there is only one hand-pump available for about 200 people. Sometimes not even all the people standing and waiting get access to water. After waiting for long, people only get a bucket of water for each family, just enough to suffice their drinking needs. For other purposes like bathing, washing, cleaning etc, the villagers have to use river water, which is often not as clean as one would expect. As a result, the villagers have to stay unclean for days. Apart from this, standing in the scorching heat for a long time is further detrimental to their health.
Solution & Impact
Claro energy has had the chance to work for the upliftment of this village. We have been working to ensure a proper supply of water to this area, to at least cater to the villagers’ basic needs. Claro has installed hand-pumps in the village and people no longer have to wait for hours in long queues to fill their buckets. The pumping system has also enabled them to store water in tanks for other purposes. The villagers no longer have to use river water, and have proper sanitation across their homes. This has prevented them from falling prey to bad health and diseases. In fact, access to clean water has exponentially improved general health in the area. Claro energy has ensured that every resident has access to a 24X7 water facility.
Jaigoor, is a village in Bhauramgarh block of Bijapur district, Chhattisgarh. It has a population of barely 200 people. This village has, for many years, been in the line of fire of violent Naxalite activities. Due to the continuous gloom of impending violence, the opportunity of progress has been scant. This village displays the complete picture of backwardness. It is mostly inaccessible, with no roads and failed infrastructure. The villagers have to cross thankless hilly terrain in order to commute between nearby spots. In fact, the threat of violence and lack of road connectivity impedes the generation of better employment facilities. Villagers are stuck with manual labour operations like wood cutting, carrying heavy loads, and other forms of daily wage earning activities. The government has taken steps to provide Ration for the people and a few schools have also been built for the village children. However, the situation in the region makes it difficult for the people to send their kids to school.
The village also has to deal with prevailing water scarcity – only two hand pumps are installed for the population of 200 – making it near impossible for every household to get an adequate supply of water. Apart from this, due to the the continuous and unpredictable rebel conflicts, when these pumps get damaged, no one is ready to visit Jaigoor to fix them. The threat to life is such a realistic impediment in lives of the villagers. They do not get adequate water for drinking and for other basic sanitation and cleaning purposes, which forces them to live in an unhygienic situation where they even go many days without washing their clothes, bathing etc. As a result they deal with skin problems and other ailments.
Claro Energy had been assigned to set up water facilities in this region. We have been involved at the ground level and have done our best to contribute to the well being of the people residing here. The project required installing a 6 meter high solar pump, which in case of damage will be repaired by Claro’s area service team. People of the village now have 24×7 access to clean water supply. Their daily water needs are now taken care of.
Not only are everyday basic needs taken care of, water can now be stored for future usage in water tanks, also provided and set up by Claro. The people no longer have to spend their entire day waiting in line to fetch a few litres of water.
Access to clean drinking water is a basic right of every human being, and, as goes the saying, without water there is no life. Claro energy, in all its projects, ensures that no person is denied of this basic right.