Over two lakh poor women workers to get stoves, lanterns

November 19th, 2011 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) The International Finance Corp (IFC) will provide energy-efficient cooking stoves and solar lanterns to over two lakh women in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

A member of the World Bank Group, the IFC will guarantee a loan from local banks to NGO Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) members and the distribution will take place over the next three years, a statement said Saturday.

“This is one of the world’s largest clean-energy projects aimed at the $5 trillion market of consumers, distributors and entrepreneurs that forms the base of the economic pyramid,” IFC CEO Lars Thunell said.

“By expanding the availability of energy-efficient cook stoves and lanterns, we can help low-income households increase savings and cut expenses for firewood, kerosene and electricity.”

SEWA, a trade union registered in 1972, is an organisation of poor, self-employed women workers. Its membership of 1.3 million women comes from across nine Indian states.

“This project called Hariyali will provide green livelihoods to poor rural women members,” said SEWA director Reema Nanavaty.

“SEWA’s self-employed women work in the informal sector, spend 35 percent of their income on fuel and walk long distances for firewood spending precious time unproductively,” she added.

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