Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Natural Resources Defense Council(NRDC), in collaboration with Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) have launched a rural e-mobility demonstration pilot supporting women entrepreneurs. The pilot aims to increase transportation equity, improve air quality, and enhance rural livelihoods through the adoption of EVs, SIDBI said in a press release.
It added in the statement that it aims to increase the transportation equity, improve the air quality and the livelihoods in rural areas through this initiative. The criteria being ownership status, basic driving skills, access to energy sources for EV charging, travel routine and expenses. These Electric two-wheelers were handed over to women entrepreneurs in Anand district, Gujarat and Dungarpur district, Rajasthan.
R.K. Singh, Chief General Manager, SIDBI, said, “SIDBI has always endeavored to connect thelast mile through blend of development & finance through itself and its partners. Green and digitization is our top priority. We believe that unless we deepen our outreach to unserved or underserved segments and geographies, the mission would not get the desired pace. We have now started initiatives connecting smaller towns, religious circuits and this unique attempt is to empower rural areas. SIDBI is supporting the identified SEWA sisters for the demonstration of piloting of electric vehicles for commercial use. These EV ambassadors would set an example for others to assimilate and adopt.”
“NRDC has been working with women in rural India through its partners for over a decade to enhance access to clean energy solutions,” said Dipa Singh Bagai, Country Head, NRDC India. They claim that the national two-wheeler sales reached nearly 16 million units in the fiscal year ending March 2023, of which rural areas contributed to around 55% sales.
Reema Nanavaty, Director, SEWA said, “On its 50th Anniversary of organizing, SEWA launched its ‘Swachch Aakash: Cleaner Skies Campaign’ for the new generations of SEWA to accelerate their climate action. Today, the purchase of these Electrical Vehicles by our younger members leads to green asset creation in the name of women, brings freedom of mobility, and strengthens their livelihoods. We at SEWA call it climate justice and second freedom for our members.”