How did IDRF start its down-to-earth actions to combat the climate crisis?
Experience a remarkable journey of compassion and progress with IDRF, as it continually strives to uplift underprivileged communities through its charitable and developmental endeavors. As a leading US nonprofit supporting India, IDRF always embraces innovation as a catalyst for societal transformation. The primary objective of IDRF is to awaken society to the pressing need for environmental protection.
Dr. Vinod Prakash, the Founder of IDRF, recollects that it was two decades ago when IDRF started its eco-friendly development programs. However, it was the effective implementation of the biogas plant in 2021 at the IDRF Tribal Girls’ Hostel in collaboration with Shiksha Bharati in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh that accelerated its down-to-earth actions to combat the growing climate crisis.
Dr. Prakash expresses grave concern over the devastating consequences of global warming worldwide and environmental sustainability is a significant cause that IDRF is actively championing.
IDRF, in collaboration with Shiksha Bharati, has supported the construction of Banwasi Chhatrawas, a girls' hostel that offers free lodging, boarding, and food for up to 100 underprivileged tribal girls. With a firm commitment to supporting these hostel girls, IDRF provides the expense of three nutritious meals per day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hostel kitchen required a costly LPG gas connection for cooking.
Dr. Prakash received a valuable suggestion from his close friend, Dr Emmanuel D’Silva, an Agriculture & Environment Specialist, and a World Bank retiree. Dr. D'Silva proposed the utilization of cow dung cakes as a sustainable fuel source. This concept holds immense significance as it has been traditionally employed for years in households of ancient India. There was a herd of around 20 cows in the girls’ hostel, and the cow milk was used for hostel girls and staff.
Dr. D'Silva’s suggestion was to establish a bio-gas plant to produce a sustainable and renewable fuel source, perfect for fulfilling the cooking needs of the hostel kitchen. The dry cow dung cakes are transformed into gas and then carefully stored in balloons. These balloons are skillfully connected to the kitchen's gas line, ensuring a seamless fuel flow for cooking needs. This has allowed the girls' hostel to eliminate the excessive costs associated with traditional LPG gas cylinders.
IDRF has had encouraging results from the 25 units installed so far in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, and is planning to expand the coverage to 500 rural families over the next few years.
IDRF has also supported the plantation of 20,000 saplings in 31 villages of Chhattisgarh. Local women’s self-help groups and community members have been mobilized to plant and a mobile app helps to track the survival and growth of the saplings. IDRF also plans to support the creation of “mini forests” in these communities using the Miyawaki Method. These man-made forests can mimic the natural forests and restore ecosystems lost or damaged in the past. Because the space requirement is small—100 square meters to start—it may be possible in the future for every village and school to have a forest at the cost of an iPhone.
Therefore, by effectively carrying out this bio-gas plant tree plantation endeavor, IDRF has accelerated its eco-friendly development projects to combat the growing climate crisis.
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