With Indian Training, "Engineering Students" to Illuminate Rural South Africa

Twenty-two female engineering students from rural South Africa will spend a year in India training as "Solar Mamas," where they will learn how to install solar panels and other machines in their home villages.

"Since electricity is essential to so several areas of human existence and welfare, it should be always readily available. Governments must provide this kind of fundamental training because it is a necessary service that improves society," according to Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Minister in the Presidency in charge of women, youth and people with disabilities.In order to receive the training, the 22 students have already left for Rajasthan.

The Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA) and her department are working together on the project.

Inspired by one of the decisions from the BRICS Women in Business meeting held on the fringes of the BRICS Summit hosted by South Africa last year, the learnership programme will offer theoretical and practical skills in solar panel manufacture and installation.

Women should take the lead in community activities and contribute to the resolution of South Africa's energy issue, especially in rural regions, according to the resolution on the Solar Technology Training Programme for Women in South Africa.

With the intention of providing opportunities for the female learners to enter the corporate world upon their return to South Africa in August following their training at Barefoot University in Rajasthan, at least six additional government departments and parastatals have endorsed the learnership initiative.

A profitable business idea might involve selling solar products, such as panels, batteries and appliances, considering the present electricity constraints in South Africa.

"Teaching South African women from underprivileged and rural areas how to build, maintain and repair solar lighting systems and panels is the major goal of the project. "This training provides them with the necessary technical skills to utilise solar energy for the betterment of their communities," stated the Ladies Organisation (FLO) of FICCI, who took on project facilitation following the BRICS summit.

Projects like this one that involve collaboration can strengthen the bonds between South Africa and India. Encouraging gender equality and the empowerment of women is FLO's primary goal. This is in line with the objectives of the "Solar Mamas" project, which seeks to empower women by enhancing their skills and gaining knowledge. The project's emphasis on community development and renewable energy is in line with FLO's dedication to sustainable development.

The FLO said, "Trained 'Solar Mamas' bringing sustainable solar energy solutions to their communities are the anticipated outcomes of this project."

"The main goals of this project are to train women in South Africa to become 'Solar Mamas,' enabling them to install, maintain and repair solar panels and systems; to provide women with the knowledge and skills necessary to become leaders and change agents in their communities; to advance gender equality and women's economic empowerment by providing Solar Mamas with opportunities to generate income and to enhance energy access in rural and underprivileged areas of South Africa, supporting sustainable development and environmental preservation," it said.

Mahesh Kumar, the consul general of India in Johannesburg, whose office hosted an orientation session for the trainees, stated that it was India's goal to use its experience and skills to help other developing nations wherever possible.

According to Kumar, "India is well-advanced in its plans to have renewable energy, like solar power, in every rural home as part of its Renewable Electricity Roadmap 2030."

Kumar continued, "For the benefit of other partners in BRICS and the developing world, the Government of India is always happy to share the expertise that its scientists, engineers and institutions have developed in this regard."

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