Community Resilience

Towards A Better World with ProtoVillage

Supporting ProtoVillage as they find systemic solutions for rural resilience in India.

We believe that energy can uplift communities. LPG is an economical and cleaner source of fuel with a much lower carbon footprint than coal and oil. We are proud to be a leading maritime transporter of LPG, helping to ensure supply of LPG into India. Beyond LPG supply, we also fund selected community development and local self-help initiatives that have the potential to transform not just individual lives but entire communities. In 2021, BW LPG India began a multi-year project to support ProtoVillage as they find systemic solutions for rural resilience in India.

ProtoVillage in 2022

About ProtoVillage

ProtoVillage was founded in 2014 on 12.5 acres of barren land in Anantapur, the second driest district in India. It aspires to be the prototype of a resilient rural community, where people live in harmony with nature and blend native knowledge with contemporary technology for a sustainable way of life.

In 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 exacerbated vulnerabilities in the healthcare and livelihood systems in rural India. But with challenges come opportunities for accelerated change and ProtoVillage began to establish long-term systemic solutions to improve access to healthcare and livelihoods for the under-served and economically disadvantaged in rural communities.

Improving Healthcare with Telemedicine

COVID-19 has made it difficult for those living in rural communities to access hospitals or major healthcare centres in cities, either because of full capacity or personal fears of infection. To this challenge of access to quality and affordable healthcare, ProtoVillage set up a healthcare centre and mobile clinic to serve over 50 neighbouring villages in the district.

Shanti Kutiram

An existing building within ProtoVillage, called the Shanti Kutiram, was converted to serve as a healthcare and telemedicine center. It is equipped with a tech station to handle patient and patient-care data, and provides back-end support in scheduling and connecting patients with doctors. This space also has facilities to enable doctors to treat patients. With the mobile clinic, a trained nurse travels to care for villagers with mild, general ailments while creating digital health profiles for them, in a format prescribed by the apex health body of the Indian government. The profiles will allow ProtoVillage to collect data on common health issues to eventually create a targeted healthcare plan to address these issues.

A medicinal herb garden is currently being prototyped at ProtoVillage that can eventually be replicated at other villages, so that a significant number of day-to-day sicknesses can be managed within the local community. In addition, interested youths are being trained in naturopathy to manage mild and general ailment

Youths with computers

Providing Hope through Entrepreneurship

With slim economic prospects in rural communities, young men and women had migrated to seek work opportunities in cities. However, COVID-19 had forced many to return home when opportunities in the cities ceased, and savings were depleted.

ProtoVillage has developed a model of business called Graameena Aarthika Mandali (Graamam for short), and it goes beyond the popular objectives of empowering women to be employable. Graamam aims to empower and develop women to be entrepreneurs.

Equippment Women to Be Entrepreneurs

ProtoVillage aims to grow the network of women entrepreneurs to 9000 women across 100 villages by 2024, running various enterprises in the Nutritious Food, Personal Care and Home care categories. This network of women will be organised into a Producer company owned by them, with ProtoVillage providing the R&D, training, quality assurance and marketing services.

A 4,000 sq. ft training facility infrastructure has been built with support from BW LPG India, that will serve as a prototype to be replicated across the district with the aspiration to reach 90,000 women in the district.

Rural Economic Zone for ProtoVillage

ProtoVillage is off-the-grid and is self-sustaining using wind and solar energy. However, food enterprises run in ProtoVillage and in the surrounding villages will use safe and cleaner-burning LPG for cooking, which when compared to traditional biomass, has minimal carbon emission.

Roasting Millet Crispies with LPG

A New Way to Farm

In 2022, BW LPG India continued its funding support for ProtoVillage, with focus on setting up infrastructure needed to demonstrate a model of farming that preserves ground water table, grows healthy food for consumers and consistently generates income for farmers.

Located in one of the driest parts of India, ProtoVilage has experienced droughts with zero rainfall, and wells in the area would dry up due ot the lack of rain. This impacts food security and the general resilience of villages. ProtoVillage is working to develop a food security system that has lower water needs, and where irrigation water is collected in open ponds rather than from bore wells. The irrigation infrastructure that they have designed has been built, and it includes a huge pond that can hold close up to 3 million litres of rainwater. This water will be sufficient for the farming needs of the village till the next monsoon.

An Irrigation Pond at ProtoVillage

The team has also developed a farming model that ensures a weekly harvest, and hence a steady and higher income to farmers.

A New Way To Farm

ProtoVillage will next explore how to ensure better energy security, enhancing its solar capacity and upgrading the inverters in order to be self reliant for their electricity needs. They will also explore systems to measure consumption, and mechanisms to make the distribution system “leak proof”, and work on energy efficient community cooking systems using agri waste and solar concentrators.

Key Initiatives

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