News Update/ Press Release

SPI partners with 3 NGOs to provide COVID relief and health care to the rural community

New Delhi, 2 June 2021: Smart Power India (SPI), a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Foundation, partnered with GiveIndia Foundation, Swasth Foundation, Eka Care to provide COVID relief, in the rural community, primarily to their mini grid customers and ESCO employees. The services include:

  • Meeting oxygen supply via oxygen cylinders and concentrators for the COVID patients
  • Facilitating in-person and telemedicine consultations for those with chronic conditions
  • Procuring and distributing PPE to health professionals and essential workers and others

The mini grid villages in India have observed an intense health crisis in 2021 as compared to 2020. As per the recent surveys conducted by SPI across mini-grid villages, 77% participants expressed COVID care facilities are inaccessible in case of emergency. Last year the main concern for rural households was livelihood. This year it is about access to healthcare. Lack of awareness and COVID appropriate behaviour still exists in the rural community with half the participants surveyed believing that their communities aren’t taking preventive measures like masking and sanitizing.

Commenting on the partnership, Jaideep Mukherji, CEO, Smart Power India, said, “Last year we focussed on providing livelihood support to the rural community. This year, we see an urgent need to address the issue of lack of access to quality medical services. Health and safety of our mini grid customers and ESCO employees are some of our immediate priorities. These partnerships aim to support our ailing health infrastructure.”

SPI had launched a Customer Voucher Scheme (CVS) for mini-grid customers in 2020. It aimed to benefit over 125,000 lives in 200 mini-grid villages in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. CVS enabled the mini-grid customers to redeem the vouchers against their monthly electricity bill issued by Mini-Grid Operators (MGO) for a period of 3 months.  The scheme is believed to impact over 125,000 lives in 200 mini-grid villages. This year, SPI is in the process of planning such health related incentives to ease the health care burden in the catchment areas.