Solar Technology for Eliminating Poverty (STEP)- CSR Projects India

Last Updated:  31/12/2019


Project Pitch By: Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN)


Proposed Project Title

Solar Technology for Eliminating Poverty (STEP)


Thematic Area

Rural development projects

Sub Thematic Area

Solar Energy

Project Synopsis

The project aims for setting up eight model villages with round the clock electricity supply through solar microgrids and solar piped water supply systems providing water for drinking and sanitation use. The tentative cost for each solar microgrid is INR 28 Lakh and the solar water supply system is INR 26 Lakh. It will also provide solar irrigation infrastructural support to poor rural farmers to double their income. The installation of 400 such solar-based lift irrigation units will support more than 16,000 farmers in growing two additional crops every year. The tentative cost for each solar irrigation project will be INR 6.5 Lakh. The project is aligned with the Government of India's initiative of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 0.6 Cr - INR 1.0 Cr
Proposed Location
Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha

Key Project Partners
Government,Gram Panchayat,Gram Panchayat

Project Status


Beneficiary Type (Primary): Women
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Youth
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: 1000 and above Families
Status of Baseline Survey: Yet To Be Done

Proposed Project Description


The overall objective of the project will be to develop models in rural India to address issues of water supply for drinking and sanitation use, domestic lighting and affordable irrigation using solar technologies to be scaled up by the government, CSOs, and other stakeholders.

The specific objective will be to:

  • To establish 8 model villages with reliable electricity for household and commercial use piped water supply for drinking and sanitation purpose, using solar energy
  • To trigger growth in the farm sector and sustainably double the income of 16,000 small and marginal farmers in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha
  • To create 400 solar-based irrigation systems in 20 backward districts of these states, as an effective method to organize production system and services of markets
  • To bring 8,000 acres of land under 200% cropping intensity
  • Capacitate User Associations (UA)  to have system & processes for efficient management of the infrastructures, crop planning, increase cropping intensity and create market linkages for inputs and produce
  • Introduce local context-specific and market-led diverse cropping practices to have significant cash income
  • Promoting renewable and clean energy concept through multi-stakeholder partnership.

Proposed Geography:

The project will be taken up in 20 backward districts of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha.


For sustainable use of the solar infrastructures the following steps will be followed:

  • Concept seeding meeting and exposure: Meeting will be conducted in potential villages to mobilize community and exposures will be conducted, if required, to build awareness regarding solar energy solutions for a better living.
  • Site selection & demand generation: Demand for the infrastructures will be generated and sites will be selected for installation with community consultation.
  • User Association (UA): Members of UA will be households who will be getting benefits out of the infrastructures. The member should be a member of an SHG. Community contribution will be collected from all members. In the case of irrigation, Water User Association (WUA) will be formed and contributions will be collected based on the area of land of each family in the command area.
  • DPR preparation:  To develop the detailed project report (DPR) with the active participation of UA keeping all the technical and social factors into account.
  • Procurement & Installation of solar-based infrastructures: All the purchases will be made from the reputed vendors.
  • Handing over the infrastructure to UA: Once the installation of the unit is over, utilization certificate to be prepared which will also cover the photo verification. The utilization certificate will also include all the expenditures incurred and the list of beneficiaries. After physical verification, the asset will be transferred to the community for its usage.
  • Livelihood plan implementation: Once the solar irrigation installation is done, a detailed crop-based land use plan will be prepared with the active participation of the farmers and handhold them to implement the plan. Help them implement the plans and utilize them to the potential. Assist them to intensify the present crops and also diversification to vegetable cultivation, fruit tree plantation, etc.
  • Promotion of community cadres: Promote a cadre of community-based service providers to handhold the families in adopting improved cultivation practices and accessing inputs, credit, market and technical agencies.
  • Maintenance and sustainability post-implementation: Along with the establishment of solar infrastructures, UA will be entrusted as an operating & monitoring body which will take charge of the asset in the future. The UA will collect usage charges from the user. This money will be the corpus of UA and money will be used primarily for two purposes, maintenance of the infrastructure and payment of the operator. The operator will be a person who will handle the daily operation of the infrastructure. UA will be trained to deal with the post maintenance issues and also user fees collection.

Key Result Areas:

  • Creation of eight model villages with the convergence of solar microgrid, solar-based irrigation and piped drinking water system
  • The enhanced income of 16,000 small and marginal farm holders by INR 50,000 in 20 backward districts in the state of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha
  • Women are organized into User Associations to sustainably use the created infrastructures
  • Cultivation of high-value vegetable crops, fruits, and spices in 8,000 acres of land
The overall objective of the project will be to develop models in rural India to address issues of water supply for drinking and sanitation use, domestic lighting and affordable irrigation using solar technologies to be scaled up by the government, CSOs, and other stakeholders.

Salient Features

  1. Renewable and clean energy solutions to facilitate remunerative farming practices for smallholder farmers
  2. 200% increase in cropping intensity
  3. Addressing hunger and poverty issues - year round food sufficiency and significant increase in income from agriculture for poorest of the poor farmers

About Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN)

PRADAN is a not-for-profit organization that works with the remote, rural populace in seven states of Central and Eastern India to facilitate transform lives of the marginalized sections of the society. PRADAN recruits and trains young professionals from across the country to engage with poor communities at the grassroots. Over 36 years of its existence PRADAN has also been shaping the larger development agenda, and partnered many State Governments and Departments to design and implement initiatives that impact and transform the lives of the rural poor. Every rupee invested in PRADAN’s teams triggers INR 4 of program investment in creating assets and capabilities for the people residing in abject poverty and translates into INR 11 of income for families. We are also the National Support Organisation for the Ministry of Rural Development and Agriculture, which is a knowledge and capacity building role in these key ministries. As of 31st March 2019, PRADAN touched 4 million rural poor people across 37 of the country's poorest districts. Going forward, we seek to expand our outreach to 1.5 million rural poor families (~10 million people) by 2022, in 52 districts of India, to realize our shared vision of a just and equitable society.


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