The UN General Assembly has declared the decade 2014-2024 as the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All. Access to light, ventilation, affordable, & efficient energy is critical to improving the quality of life & productivity of the poor, especially women who spend majority of their time indoors, working on household chores, or engaged in livelihood activities. However, the energy paradigm of urban poor (especially those living in slums) is characterized by illegal and irregular access to electricity, and very high inefficiencies in energy use. Enabling access to legal electricity connections, along with promoting lifestyle changes, and use of efficient & renewable energy products and construction technologies, can go a long way in reducing the energy expenses of the poor while enabling them to maintain their quality of life and enhance their productive capacity. The key aspects of MHT’s energy program thus include:
Access to legal electricity in slums is often hampered due to linking of service delivery with land tenure and lack of inclusive, pro-poor service delivery models. MHT forges partnership with electricity companies to implement slum electrification and introduce process improvements that make it easier for slum households to access legal electricity. These include reducing paperwork requirements, delinking service delivery from land status and instituting a more suitable pricing and billing policy.
MHT trains women leaders from poor communities to work as energy auditors who educate households on nuances of energy usage (such as bill calculation, wattage consumption, energy wastage) and encourage them to switch to more efficient products. These trained energy auditors also act as a grassroots level, women-led distribution network of green energy and building products.
Through its network of women energy auditors, MHT has sold sustainable energy products such as LED lights, smokeless cook stoves, solar lanterns and solar lighting and cooling systems to more than 27,500 slum families across 10 cities in India.
Slum dwellings are often constructed with materials like cement sheets, plastic covers, & corrugated tin sheets that absorb heat, create stuffy & hot living conditions, and also require more energy to cool down. Also, for most slum homes, the front door is the only major source of natural lighting and air ventilation.
MHT has promoted the design and development of alternate roof ventilation systems such as Air Lite that bring in natural light as well as ventilation. MHT also encourages slum households to embrace alternate building materials that are weather resistant and keep homes cooler.
My husband's condition got critical few times as wrong medicine was given to him because of lot of darkness in the room. Installation of Ujasiyu became very helpful in protecting my husband's life from wrong medication.
MHT has brought Ujala (light) in my life. It has also enhanced my knowledge on the technicalities of energy and brought about a significant change in my behavior in interacting with the people.