The Art of Living’s Sri Sri Kaushal Vikas Kendra for Renewable Energy, a skills training center was opened in the presence of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, The Art of Living in association with technology partner, Schneider Electric in the premises of The Art of Living International Center.
“There is an economic revolution (artha kranti) underway in the country today,” said Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “Along with this, there should be a solar energy revolution too. With your efforts, as more villages get solar power, there will be light in every household even in the nights.”
Other dignitaries at the ceremony included Vinod Bihari, CEO, Power Sector Skill Council and S Nagarajan, VP, national sales, Schneider Electric in the premises of International Art of Living Center.
About 50 students will be undergoing 3 months training in installation and repair of solar appliances. This center will provide training to Rural Youth on Solar energy, which is getting traction from renewable energy market. India’s Annual Solar installations are set to grow over four times by 2017 which will create job opportunities for the skill sets being trained at the center. 10.50 GW of utility-scale solar and grid connected rooftop solar capacity will be added by 2016-17. The Government of India has set targets which will take the total renewable capacity to 175 GW by the end of 2022. This includes 100 GW from solar power.
“I am very sure given the organizational capability of The Art of Living, they will do a fabulous job of changing the lives of youth at the bottom of the pyramid,” said Jayant Krishna, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, National Skills Development Council.
Schneider Electric and The Art Of Living signed an MOU to open 20 centers for electrical training and one state-of-the-art solar energy research and technology and training center at Sri Sri University.
The Art of Living’s Sri Sri Rural Development Program also launched a mobile app for making electrical and solar, nursing services available for everyone as well as providing job opportunities to those who are undertaking the training.
“Without local skills or entrepreneurs it is not possible to electrify the many villages in the dark today,” said Abhimanyu Das, head, Corporate Social Responsibility, Schneider Electric. “The main intention here is not just to train people in running solar powered appliances and installations so they can go get jobs. But those who come here should also be able to start their own businesses. It is not just a skill center, but we want to electrify villages and create entrepreneurs.”
The training center to be run under Sri Sri Rural Development Program has the below salient features, which makes it stand out against other technical centers.
- SSRDP is now an affiliate of Prime Minister Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
- Along with technical training, students are oriented and trained in soft skills including behavioral and emotional development of personalities.
- Center is situated in lush green environment for students to appreciate GREEN environment.
- Free training which is typically being charged from 50k to 75k in the
professional training course outside.
- In this process of training, the program will create Urja Sevaks (Social Entrepreneur in Solar business), to support the growing skill need in the commercial market.
- Also as part of some of The Art of Living projects like Light a Home the Sevaks will be absorbed for employment and maintenance of the solar infrastructure put up in villages.
- The center will also create a force of certified solar trainers to impart the solar training to others.
Apart form skilling, The Art of Living has been running the Light a Home project since November 2012 to electrify Rural India. In its very first three months of operation, more than 1800 households in 38 villages across India have been provided SOLAR LAMPS. Till date, 72 Battery Charging Stations are set up creating 72 Entrepreneurs earning Rs 4000-5000 per month. 40 Yuvacharyas are Trained as Solar Engineers to install and service Home Lighting Systems in 10 States. Till date, 1800 lights in Westbengal, 500 Lights in Assam, 600 Lights in Arunachal Pradesh, 500 Lights in Bihar, 800 lights in Maharashtra, 400 in Karnataka and 300 Lights in Odisha have already been distributed.