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The Main livelihood::

A Journey towards Green Energy

Prathama Bank, the First Regional Rural

Bank of the country, was established on 2nd
of October, 1975. The first branch was
opened on that day in the hands of Honble
Late C. Subramaniyam, then finance
minister of Govt. of India and Sri N.D.
Tiwari then Chief Minister of Uttar
Pradesh. The Bank is operating in four
districts of western Uttar Pradesh, namely,
Moradabad, Rampur, J.P. Nagar &
Sambhal. The head quarter of the Bank is
situated at Moradabad which is 160 Km
away from the National Capital of India,
New Delhi. Bank operates through its 301
branches spread over the nook & corner of
the four districts.

Topography of the Place ::

Moradabad, Rampur, J.P. Nagar &

Sambhal districts form the part of western
U.P. situated adjoining to Uttrakhand state.
The forest area of Uttarakhand & Shivalik
hills of Himalayas are in the
neighbourhood of the command Area. The
climate is extreme with temperature going
down to near zero in winter and goes as
high as up to 45% degree in summer. The
atmosphere is dry and mostly two seasons
are prevailing in the area.

Agriculture is the main occupation of the

people. Over 80% of the population
depends upon agriculture. Sugarcane &
Mentha are cultivated as cash crop beside
paddy and wheat. In Moradabad city
Industrial & commercial activities are at
brisk. The place is famous for brass
products. The other area comprises of rural
& semi urban villages inhabited by
farmers, rural artisans, land less labourers.
About 40% of the people are below
poverty line with literacy level being
amongst one of the lowest in the state. The
grid supply in the area is erratic and not up
to the requirement .There are some remote
villages which are in-accessible and
electricity is yet to be provided by the
Government. Though this area is situated
at a distance of 160 Km only from the
National capital, the vicious circle of
poverty and under-development is peculiar
in the area. The school going children are
devoid of light in the night, the villages
remain in perpetual darkness even after the
67 years of independence.

A Pioneer Institution for

Social Cause::
Prathama Synonym to its name has always
played a front runner role for economic
upliftment , social awakening and financial
literacy of the masses. Prathama Bank has
always been a torchbearer in socioeconomic upliftment of down trodden
sections of the society , may be in form of

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leading player in the success of Govt.

Sponsored Schemes, in micro finance with
publicizing its schemes and educating
villagers through Farmers club ,
eradicating the evil of indebtedness /
bonded labour by freeing villagers from
the clutches of money lenders , educating
villagers about water management,
sanitation and cleaning/ clearing village
community ponds through its own

Promotion of Green
Being a financial institution, yet it has not
limited its role to economic up liftment
only, but has shouldered the responsibility
of social & cultural development also.
Prathama Bank is fully aware of the
importance of energy for human life and
its development. The prevailing conditions
of power supply in its area of operation are
below satisfaction. Most of the villages are
unelectrified. Even electrified villages are
for the namesake only as the power supply
is erratic in these villages. Moreover the
present resources of energy are
diminishing fast and the only ray of hope
is the renewable resources of energy like
solar energy, wind energy, bio energy, tidal
energy etc. Solar energy can be the best
alternative for transforming the rural life
with availability of more 300 clear sunny
days in a year, solar energy, being a Green
energy has a tremendous potential in India.

As electricity is also one of the basic need

of life in addition to food, dress & shelter,
Bank being a pioneer, took initiative and
launched a scheme for financing solar
energy way back in 2002 but due to lack of
awareness and apathy, the scheme did not
get a response and in the financial year
2004-05, a scheme for financing solar

water pump was launched, the scheme was

widely responded and 22 solar water
pumps were financed under the scheme. In
January 2005, a new scheme Prathama
solar Jyoti was implemented to provide
light to all sections of society.
Main features of Prathama solar Jyoti
scheme ::
1. Purpose
:: 1 home light/
2 home light/ 4 home light to households
2. Project Cost
14500/ ,Rs 27500/

: Rs.10,500 / ,Rs

3. Amount of Loan
project cost

:: 90 to 95% of

4. Rate of Interest
:: 10% (Interest
subsidy was initially provided to the
poor villagers of Ishapur, Chandupura &
Lalaterkar through Bhartiya Vikas Trust/
Swis Dev. Organization)
5. Period of Repayment :: 5 years
6. Repayment schedule :: As per Income
flow of beneficiary
7. Other Bank Charges :: NIL

Initiatives by Bank for

popularization of Solar
In the initial stage, Bank took assistance of
Bhartiya Vikas Trust , a Manipal based
reputed NGO for organising sensitization
programme for Branch Managers so as to
acquaint them
with the utility and
economics of the solar home lighting
system so that they may have a faith in the
scheme and can be motivated to persuade
the villagers to come forward for
installation of solar home lighting. For
convincing the rural masses, about the
utility and economics of the Solar home
lighting systems. Bank in collaboration
with Mr. Satyaveer Singh, proprietor of

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M/S Satyam Enterprises, a local dealer of

M/S. Tata B.P. Solar India Ltd. organised
solar awareness programmes in remotest
villages of the area. During these
programmes, solar equipments were
displayed to the villagers and to students
in schools and their working was explained
to them , a comparative study of
economics of traditional source used by
them and that of solar home lighting
system was explained to them ,for
convincing them how it is cheaper to other
sources, besides this its being eco friendly,
pollution free and health conducive. These
solar awareness programme sponsored by
BVT proved to be a milestone in publicity
of Solar home lighting system
In spite of all these efforts, it was a
herculean task to convince and motivate
the rural population for adopting SHLs. In
the initial phase people were hesitant in
accepting solar home lighting system due
to higher initial cost and interest rate,
Prathama Bank visualized this
reduced rate of interest from 11% to
9%p.a. and a strategy was adopted to
concentrate on those selected pockets,
which were in dire need of energy and this
strategy proved to be successful. Two
villages of Dilari block in Moradabad
district namely Ishapur and Chandupura
were identified and bank approached BVT
for interest subsidy to make SHLs more
acceptable to the villagers of these
villages, BVT agreed that it will share the
burden of interest upto the extent of
8%p.a. which meant that beneficiaries will
have to bear now only 1% rate of interest.
M/S Satyam Enterprises also came
forward and declared that he will provide
subsidy of Rs.1000/- per system financed
by Prathama Bank. All these innovative
gestures contributed and result was that
Ishapur village having 50 households got
the pride honour of being the first solar
village of Uttar Pradesh state. The role of
the Bank does not ends here because a
quality after sales service to the user of
solar home lighting system was the need of

the hour, here also the Trust came forward

and agreed to fund for promotion of a solar
entrepreneur equipped with all service tool
kit for servicing the systems on call basis
for the village.
A function was organised on 22.11.2006 to
propagate the message of 100% solar
power electrification of Isapur village. Sri
Govt. of Uttar Pradesh,Lucknow was the
Chief Guest, Mr. Pandhari Yadav,D.M.,
Moradabad on the ocassion announced 04
solar street lights for the village. Thus the
houses of Isapur village is not only 100%
solar electrified but the street of the village
will also be illuminated with solar light.
Dr. Veena Joshi, team leader, from Swiss
Development organisation visited the
village to have first hand feed back on the
working status and impact of solar home
light system installed and was impressed,
the satisfaction on the faces of villagers
particularly women and students itself told
the story of satisfaction they received.
One old lady expressed in local dialact Is
Suraj Ki Lait ne toHum Andho ko Jaise
Aankhe de Di Hain .
The whole atmosphere of the village has
changed to a happy and prosperous one as
compared to the earlier situation of typical,
backward and dark village of Uttar
Students are the future of the nation and
for providing better studying condition to
the rural students, Prathama Bank and
BVT reached an agreement according to
which a student scholarship of Rs. 1000/will be provided by BVT on SHLs and for
this 150 student scholarships were
sanctioned out of which 103 students were
benefitted by the end of March 2008. For
attracting student for adopting SHLs ,
BVT agreed to instal one solar street light
at Janta Rashtriya Inter College Satupura,
Distt. Moradabad, the first college
identified for promotion of solar home
light systems, later on two colleges namely

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Kisan Upkarak Inter College Bhawalpur

and Dayanand Inter college Said Nagli
were also covered in the ambit of student
scholarship scheme.
For providing wider publicity and
acceptability to the scheme, Prathama
Bank persuaded BVT to install 06
demonstration units at the houses of rural
poors and this was mutually agreed that
after one year these units will be installed
at other places so that more & more rural
population can themselves may feel the
utility of the system. A new idea was
mooted of providing SHLs to the
shopkeepers in Said Nagli Village and 04
SHLs were installed at shops at subsidized
rate of interest,the idea was that these
shopkeepers can open their shops for a
longer period and can earn more income,
this scheme proved to be a success.

A remote village in Moonda Pandey block

Lala Teekar , nick named as Andman
Nikobar of Moradabad District due to its
geographical situation , was selected for
Solar Home light systems. Reaching this
village in rainy season is a herculean task
and it was a irony that no Govt. Official or
person from Extension/ Development
Department took a pain to visit this
village .Most of the villagers are
uneducated and performs agriculture in
traditional manner. Due to unapproachable
path, social backwardness resulting in
economic backwardness a social stigma
was imposed on the villagers of this
village and they have to face problems for
identifying a suitable match for marrying
their children ,A greater dedication was
needed for convincing the villagers of this
backward village about the utility of solar
light and bank staff with a missionary zeal
with active involvement of Satyaveer
singh rose to the occasion and within a
span of one month only,60 systems were
installed in this remotest village with
8%p.a. interest support from the BVT .
After Completion of this first phase,the

inauguration of this backward solar village

was done by Sri G.B. Patnaik special
secretary, Governor of Uttar Pradesh on
22nd July2007. Along with other dignitaries
Sri Amit Kumar Ghosh, IAS, District
Magistrate ,Moradabad graced the
occasion and was so much impressed by
the committed efforts of Prathama Bank
for development of this village, that he
announced that a Public Health Centre will
be opened in this village. The satisfaction
of villagers of this village after installation
of SHLs was uttered by a old person when
he said that now their children can get a
suitable match for marriage.

In 2007 one of our Branch Manager of

Karanpur branch Sri Rajendra Singh was
awarded 2nd prize under SFCBA, a
National Award co-sponsored by united
Development, Win rock international and
Bhartiya Vikas Trust for financing number
of solar Home Lighting systems.
For better involvement of the Branch
Managers, Bank has started Solar Shree
award. This award is being given to those
branch managers who have financed the
maximum number of solar home light
systems. Solar Shree Awards 2013-14
function to felicitate the best performers
was organized on 22nd day of august
2014,which was presided over by Sri K.
K. Gupta CGM NABARD, Chief Guest at
the function.
The Bank illuminated 629
households during the year 2015-16


Prathama Banks pioneering efforts for

solar energy paved the way and bank has
been successful in installing more than
66638 solar home light systems till date.

Banks motto is to provide light in every

hut of its service area so that living
standard of the villagers may be improved

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and our dependence on non renewable

resources may be minimized.