For over half a century, India’s flagship initiative – Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation, ITEC – has offered training and skill development to 161 partner countries from Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Caribbean and Pacific Island states. From Africa alone, over the last decade, over 25,000 students have trained in India on ITEC scholarships.
At the Third India-Africa Forum Summit in 2015, with participation of all 54 African countries, we decided to double the number of ITEC scholarships to 50,000 over a period of only 5 years.
The “Solar Mamas” of Africa, trained in India, are lighting up thousands of homes across the African continent. Our growing engagement with Africa has led to the African Development Bank holding its Annual Meeting outside Africa for the first time, in India earlier this year. Our development partnerships projects are providing water, electricity, roads, healthcare, tele-medicine, and basic infrastructure to people in dozens of countries across the world. And, in all of this, our “no strings attached” model of cooperation is driven purely by the requirements and priorities of our partner countries.
A group of about 30 “solar mamas” from Tanzania and a few other African countries demonstrated their skills in fabrication, repair and maintenance of solar lanterns and household lighting systems to the Prime Minister today. They also presented their honey-extraction and stitching practices and sung a song “we shall overcome”.
Barefoot College, Tilonia (Rajasthan) has been promoting and training rural women solar engineers (solar mamas) from Africa in fabrication, installation, use, repair and maintenance of solar lanterns and household solar lighting under Government of India supported programmes.
They have set up a Barefoot women vocational training college in Zanzibar Islands of Tanzania and other countries in Africa for imparting solar electrification skills (training) and distributing solar kits to trainees. These colleges also support various entrepreneurial skills such as bee-keeping, tailoring, etc.
The solar mamas have fabricated and installed solar kits, and now maintain these solar electrification systems in their communities.
यथा ह्येकेन चक्रेण न रथस्य गतिर्भवेत्। एवं परुषकारेण विना दैवं न सिद्ध्यति।।
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