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The Story of 'Solar Wali' Didi 

In Ratanpura, Bihar, a narrative of determination and innovation unfolds, centered around Devki Devi, affectionately known as 'Solar Wali' Didi. This story is not just about adopting solar irrigation but about the power of one woman's resolve to challenge the status quo and champion sustainable development.

AKRSP devki devi

Early Struggles

Married at 15, Devki's life was a constant battle against poverty. With a meagre half-acre of agricultural land to her name and the weight of societal norms pressing down, her options seemed limited.

The family's financial crisis deepened with her husband's insufficient income and the responsibility of four children, including a physically challenged daughter. Yet, the spark of ambition never died in Devki.

Her first step towards change was joining a Self-Help Group, which led her to learn about a solar irrigation pump (SIP) scheme. Despite the daunting total cost of Rs 5,77,455, with a personal contribution set at Rs 1,47,455 and a substantial loan of Rs 1,35,000 from Rang De Social Investors, Devki saw a glimmer of hope. 

A New Dawn

Installed on 15th June 2023, the Solar Irrigation Pump(SIP) became a cornerstone of Devki's enterprise, offering irrigation solutions over 10 acres and benefiting 42 farmers. The 231 hours of operation since installation is a testament to her resolve. This venture, despite its early days, promises not just a steady income but a sustainable future for Devki and her fellow villagers. With an income of ₹29,000 already generated and a plan to charge Rs 2,200 per acre, the economics looks promising.

AKRSP x Rang De borrower

Overcoming Hurdles

Devki's journey was fraught with challenges. The initial scepticism of her husband, societal constraints, and the financial burden of setup costs were significant.

Yet, with support from the AKRSP(I) for the solar panel, motor, and VFD, along with a stroke of luck in a lottery reducing her expenses, she pressed on. The loan from Rang De was used to build the pump house, marking her relentless pursuit towards her goal.

Vision for the Future

Devki Devi’s business plan lays down a roadmap for not just her enterprise but serves as a model for rural entrepreneurship. By supplying irrigation at competitive rates and expanding her service offerings, she aims to alleviate water scarcity, promote sustainable agriculture, and empower the women of Ratanpura. The business strategy encompasses community outreach, competitive pricing, and leveraging solar energy's benefits to ensure a steady revenue stream and impactful social change.

Devki's enterprise goes beyond financial metrics; it's about nurturing hope, fostering community development, and advocating for women's empowerment. The success of her solar irrigation venture embodies the principle that sustainable development and women's entrepreneurship are pivotal to rural transformation. Empower more visionaries like Devki and be part of the solar revolution that transforms lives and livelihoods .

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