Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP), picked up the Gold award at the 2012 Ashden awards, for demonstrating the key role a microfinance organization can play in meeting the poor’s energy needs. It has been awarded a prize of £40,000 to expand its work further.
Judges of 2012 Ashden Awards lauded SKDRDP efforts and said, “SKDRDP is fantastic example of how ethically managed microfinance can deliver sustainable energy to the poor, demonstrating that providing consumer loans for energy makes sound social, environmental and economic sense. We were bowled over by the scale SKDRDP has achieved so far, along with the responsibility it takes for lending to the poor, nurturing users to take out effective loans. SKDRDP has huge potential to expand its work even further, and to inspire many others to follow its lead.”
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Director of UNIDO and Chair of UN-Energy presented awards to international winners. He urged governments around the world to increase their support for clean energy pioneers.
“The Ashden 2012 winners are exposing the myth that poor countries cannot stimulate growth without degrading the environment. They are demonstrating that sustainable energy stimulates green growth and new jobs, lifts people out of poverty, improves health and opens up new educational opportunities,” said Dr Yumkella.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of Ashden said, “In this uncertain world our winners offer a beacon of hope, showing that access to sustainable energy offers a clear route out of poverty for millions of people around the world. We’re committed to sharing the lessons they have learned so they can be replicated far and wide.”
The Ashden Awards were founded in 2001 given by a charity of the same name that is based in London. They reward local sustainable energy projects in the UK and developing countries that protect the environment, and improve quality of life.