The project being implemented in association with multilateral agencies like- Engineers Without Borders and Association for India's Development is being nominated for the prestigious Mondialogo Engineering award by Unesco and Dailmer Chrysler, Germany.
EWB and AID are two US based international development agencies with goals of bringing sustainable and equitable development to neglected communities.
When EWB and AID decided to join hands to take up appropriate technology based projects for remote communities in India, the Orissa chapter of AID represented by Dhanada Mishra, who is also the principal of JITM teamed up with Peter Bakos-an Australian national and project coordinator at JITM, to submit a proposal for electrification of a remote tribal hamlet near Hatinota in Keonjhar district.
The project in the initial stage intends to cover Badakamandra village, about 30 km from Keonjhar town.
A team of senior students from the University of Illinois chapter of EWB, which is assigned the job of overseeing the implementation work, led by Stephanie Bogle, visited the site last year to undertake a feasibility study.
Based on the feasibility study, details were later worked out for implementation. The goal of the project is to electrify several rural communities in Orissa, Bogle said.
The electricity will be used to provide lighting to extend the working hours past sunset as well as mechanising income-generating projects in the villages such as running spice grinders that will enable marketing of local organic spices such as turmeric, mustard etc, thereby increasing the income of the villagers substantially.
"Electricity via conventional methods is not expected to reach these communities in the near future", she added.
In the implementation of the project currently underway, the project team consisting of six undergraduate students of university of Illinois supported by an environmental law graduate from the UK and led by Peter Bakos is posted in the field.
The efforts are supported by JITM students and faculty led by Dhanada Mishra. The project team has raised in over $30,000 to support the entire project cost including the contribution of the students towards their own international travel and related expenses.