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Green Power: NRI who lights up villages in Bihar with rice husk

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  • thiagarajan.arunachalam
    Green Power: NRI who lights up villages in Bihar with rice husk Posted by: karmayog.org - sheetal info@karmayog.org Wed Jul 7, 2010 4:29 am (PDT) The NRI who
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      Green Power: NRI who lights up villages in Bihar with rice husk
      Posted by: "karmayog.org - sheetal" info@...
      Wed Jul 7, 2010 4:29 am (PDT)

      The NRI who returned to light up a village with rice husk........ ....Manu A B
      How Gyanesh Pandey is making villages in Bihar self-sufficient in power

      For the villagers of Tamkuha, a dusty hamlet in rural Bihar, Gyanesh Pandey is the modern day alchemist who transformed piles of discarded rice husk to light up their lives.

      Today, every household in Tamkuha has been literally lifted out of darkness with an uninterrupted, self-sufficient power supply, which many towns and cities in India still have not been able to achieve even 60 years after Independence.

      Tamkuha, however, is not alone in this matter.

      Around 50,000 villagers in 120 villages across Bihar and 3 villages in Uttar Pradesh have been benefited by these 'green' power plants.

      For villagers, this cheap and eco-friendly model of generating electricity is a miracle that has transformed their lives. No wonder Gyanesh Pandey, the 33-year-old Non-Resident Indian has won the hearts of many poor villagers. "Aap Bhagwan ho (you are God!)!" said a poor villager to Gyanesh Pandey when he first saw his house hit up.

      After relinquishing a successful career in the United States, Gyanesh returned to his native home state in 2007. A mind-altering Vipasana session reaffirmed his desire to come back to Bihar.

      He teamed up with his friends Ratnesh Yadav, Manoj Sinha and Charles W Ransler to set up Husk Power Systems, three years ago. Gyanesh, Ratnesh and Manoj had borne the burnt of the power crisis and many problems while growing up and studying in rural Bihar.

      Their idea was simple: to provide power to villagers who depended on agriculture as their main occupation in a cost-effective and environmental- friendly manner. After six years of research and experiments, the team decided that the most feasible way would be making electricity from rice husk.

      Many were sceptical about its success.

      But today, HPS owns and operates 40 mini-power plants (35-100 kw) across Bihar.

      Through this unique green technology, villages get uninterrupted power for up to 6-12 hours by setting up a plant, which burns rice husk to generate gas to run generators.

      "After 60 years of independence, we got the real azadi (freedom) now," Rambalak Yadav, an excited school teacher from Tamkuha, said.

      Gyanesh admits he never liked anything about Bihar. So it was a conscious decision to move to the United States. However, years later, he felt as if India was calling him back. Although he kept away from his native place for years, deep within, he knew that one day he needed to come back and work for the upliftment of these villages.

      "Becoming an entrepreneur was an evolutionary process. I had a good life in America. I did not face any problems there, but I always had the feeling that I must do something for our villages. I do not feel I have made any sacrifice. Today, there is hardly anything I do other than work. It gives me the satisfaction no job can ever give," says Gyanesh, who feels India's acute power crisis must be solved efficiently with renewable resources.

      The company is set to make profits by the end of this year and plans to light up villages in other states like Maharastra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

      Providing electricity to villages across India is just the beginning of Gyanesh's ambitious plan to transform rural India.

      The company has already taken up the initiative to educate 200 children from Tumkuha.

      An optimistic and determined Gyanesh is chalking out a grand vision to build an integrated network to upgrade health, education and energy needs of India's poorest people.

      He shares the excitement, the trials and tribulations of bringing light in the lives of hundreds of poor people.

      By arrangement with Rediff.com

      You can write to Gyanesh Pandey at info@huskpowersyste ms.com

      URL: http://epaper. dnaindia. com/epapermain. aspx?edorsup= Sup&queryed= 3&querypage= 3&boxid=30689718 &parentid= 120117&eddate= 07/07/2010
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