The article entitled "Poor man's light" about Dr. Harish Hande, co-founder and managing director of Solar Electric Light Company-India (SELCO), Bangalore, India and one of the awardees of the prestigious 2011 Ramon Magsaysay Awards, inspired CPSC Director General, Dr. Mohammad Naim Yaakub to mobilize his team at CPSC to personally get in touch with him because what he has done is truly inspiring, impactful, green and sustainable.
On 2 September 2011, Dr. Hande was met by Dr. Rajesh Khambayat, Chair of Training and Development Division and Prof. TJ Tesoro Gayondato, Chair, Projects and Consultancy Division in a meeting arranged with the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation (RMAF) at the awardee's official residence, Diamond-Manila Hotel. CPSC presented to Dr. Hande a proposal to link up its skills training strategies with SELCO to further expand its Skills Development for Poverty Alleviation program in India.
It was truly an inspiring experience. Dr Hande is very humble person and a learned techno-entrepreneur in the field of solar technology. He has strong mission to help people in India and the rest of the region who are facing challenges of poverty.
On behalf of the CPSC Director General, Dr. Khambayat conveyed CPSC's warm greetings and sincere congratulations to Dr. Hande for winning the prestigious award for Asia. The brief meeting focused on the following points: introduction of CPSC as an inter-governmental organization of TVET; the CPSC-India project; and possible areas for future collaborations.
Dr. Hande was informed that CPSC is currently spearheading a vital effort in creating 'champion leaders' as catalysts of change through TVET skills for addressing poverty alleviation across the region. As of this date, over 120 champion leaders have been trained in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Philippines and Sri Lanka. In the coming months CPSC will drive to develop champion leaders in the following member countries: Fiji, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal and PNG.
The capacity building program's key focus of is on promoting TVET skills, integrating generic skills, ICT skills and social and technical entrepreneurship. In addition, CPSC has developed a comprehensive mobile repairing training package as one of common niche areas for dealing poverty among school dropouts. Several market demand-oriented activities are in the pipeline.
Dr. Hande and CPSC have a common mission of promoting green economy, alleviating poverty, and undertaking social entrepreneurship. Expanding the reach of TVET skills for poverty alleviation programs to marginalized people across the region is a priority joint concern to reap the benefits of this collaboration using technology for sustainable growth and development.
After being appraised about CPSC programs, projects, and activities particularly about the current CPSC-India flagship project on TVET Skills for Poverty Alleviation, Dr Hande expressed his appreciation to CPSC for undertaking poverty alleviation programs through various initiatives in TVET skills development. He gave very positive response to CPSC's initiative to discuss with him that he joshed "Really, no joke - You can use and misuse me".
Dr. Hande then invited CPSC to visit his organization in India, SELCO Solar Light in Bangalore to fully understand his activities and thereby identify specific areas of future joint activities. According to Dr. Hande, SELCO has demonstrated that the poor can afford sustainable technologies and maintain them, and that social ventures can be run as successful commercial entities. By treating the poor as partners instead of mere consumers, SELCO builds their confidence as it assists them in accessing and using technology to better their lives. Poverty reduction is central to its goal. Hande says, "Until the poor become asset creators, we are not empowering them."
CPSC join hands with RMAF in recognizing Dr. Harish Hande's passionate and pragmatic efforts to put solar power technology in the hands of the poor, through a social enterprise that brings customized, affordable, and sustainable electricity to India's vast rural populace, encouraging the poor to become asset creators.
At the end of the meeting, CPSC presented the CPSC plaque and its various publications to Dr. Hande as well as to the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation, as shown in the photo below.