ONergy Care - solarising COVID care
One-line solution summary:
Providing innovative solar technologies as COVID response to build rural health infrastructure and livelihoods.
Pitch your solution.
1.Our aim is to provide solar solutions aid to an epidemic-ridden world, at ultra-affordable price, to reach all sections of society, going beyond financial barriers. Our initiative also provided employment to many.
2.Our solutions are threefold: (i)Solar-powered sewing machines to women, tied up with Government to engage and train women Self-help groups to make ultra-affordable COVID-care products like masks, face shields, safety-goggles and PPE-kits. (ii)Solar-powered vaccine-storage refrigerator powered by solar panels mounted on the roofs of medical vans which would be carried around as mobile vaccination clinics to vaccinate people at their doorsteps. (iii)Solar power-packs to support rural hospitals and isolation centres.
3.Promoted globally, our solution will impact two ways: (i)Promotion of solar technologies would help in reducing electricity cost, increasing productivity and income, facilitating loans and subsidies along with having excellent after-sales service, while providing employment to BoP; (ii)aid the society with environment-friendly (solar) COVID relief products and technologies.
Film your elevator pitch.
What specific problem are you solving?
West Bengal has 2nd highest population density in India with 1028 people living per sq.km. with a rural population of 64.7%. Due to its dense population, any pandemic outbreak may put severe stress. Thereby the health and energy infrastructure would play a critical role to support its population.
COVID-19 has not only caused a health crisis but also a financial crisis, with the poor and vulnerable hit the worst. During the 2020 lockdown, an estimated 140 million people in India lost employment. The Indian GDP shrunk by 24 per cent. In addition, there was a lack of affordable protective wear products, to deploy at scale, for a developing country like India.
Women from low-income families have been most vulnerable. In addition to its economic impact, COVID-19 also led to significant increase in domestic violence.
During April 2020, COVID-19 was spreading rapidly among the population of West Bengal, with demands for protective wear like masks, PPE kits, gloves and care-products like sanitizer, disinfectants, safety goggles, face shields, increasing manifold.
ONergy Care trained over 5000 women and sold over 4Million protective wear products; 1 van installed with 1 solar vaccine-storage refrigerator and aided solar power-packs to 15 rural hospitals and isolation centers.
What is your solution?
In the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, ONergy undertook a multi-stakeholder engagement exercise that is working closely with grassroot practitioners, medical practitioners, local government bodies, and administration.
Our solutions are threefold: (i)We promoted solar-powered sewing machines to women, making zero-recurring energy-costs, and tied up with the Government to engage and train women Self-help groups to make ultra-affordable COVID-care products like masks, face shields, safety goggles and PPE-kits. We trained over 5000women and sold over 4Million COVID- care products. (ii)We promoted solar-powered vaccine storage refrigerator powered by solar panels mounted on the
roofs of medical vans which would be carried around as mobile vaccination clinics to vaccinate people (marginalised section) at their doorsteps. Currently, we have deployed 1 solar refrigerator in 1 vaccination van. (iii) We have promoted solar power packs to support rural hospitals and isolation centres. Till date, we have aided 15 rural hospitals and isolation centers.
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
Our target population, in terms of promotion of solar powered sewing machines are women from BoP section, and consequently, their families. We promoted the machines specifically to women, empowering and training them to make a range of COVID care products. In terms of deploying vaccination van installed with vaccination-storage refrigerator as well as solar power-packs to rural hospitals and isolation centers, our solutions cater to all sections of the society, with a special eye towards the marginalised population.
We also tied up with the Government (Project Karuna) for training women and self-help groups to make and assemble the care products. ONergy Care partnered with women-focused NGOs and even faith-based organizations. These local organizations assist to identify women interested in sewing and assembling protective wear. In addition, the NGOs also provided food and other essentials to the women and their families as aid during pandemic.
Hence, our solution directly and meaningfully improves the lives of our target population, by understanding their needs and engaging them to develop our products.
Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?Equip last-mile primary healthcare providers with the necessary tools and knowledge to detect disease outbreaks quickly and respond to them effectively.
Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.
Our primary aim is to aid the public using innovative solar technologies and COVID care products, as soon as and as best as possible, while catering to the needs of the grassroot level of the society, making use of their latent talent as well as providing them financial standpoint, amidst a world made unstable and unsafe by pandemic COVID-19.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?Kolkata, West Bengal, India
What is your solution’s stage of development?Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth.
Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.
Already deployed and getting strong traction
As we are promoting solar powered sewing machines in order to make our care products, scaling up our solution will help us to solarise the tailoring population, thus, widening our reach to save the environment as well as stabilize the financially weaker sections of society, especially the women.
Who is the Team Lead for your solution?
Piyush Jaju, Co-Founder and CEO.
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new application of an existing technology
What makes your solution innovative?
Our solution is not just a business venture for mere profit. Our solution is a multi-stakeholder engagement exercise, working closely with people from all sections of society as well as benefiting the underserved population in such a trying time during a pandemic. The promotion of solar powered sewing machines to rural women, training them to make and assemble COVID care products, is an innovative, improved approach to dealing with the problem at hand. The solar sewing machines reduce overall cost to the environment (making zero recurring energy costs) as well as to society (with increased productivity, and consequently increased income).
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?
In which countries do you currently operate?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
We have trained over 5000 women till date.
We have sold over 4 Million COVID care products serving 500000 people.
With the onset of the second wave of the pandemic, the demand for COVID-care products have peaked once again, and we, at ONergy care have doubled our efforts to catch up.
Fervently hoping that the pandemic would be long over in the next five years, we hope to maintain a basic manufacture and sale network with open markets and hospitals. Also, the women we trained have plans to take up the tailoring of other garments and products, along with masks and PPE kits, in the future, so as to maintain their financial stability.
How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?
With SDGs. We are part of UN Global Compact
Have an impact measurement framework, measuring impacts on different SDGs
What type of organization is your solution team?
For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models
How many people work on your solution team?
Full time staff - 19
Part-time staff - 8
Total - 27
How long have you been working on your solution?
1 year (since April 2020)
How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
Working since 2009
What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?
Understand "Why" – Discover and Align
Build a Baseline – Enlist and Engage, Measure, and Analyze
Create Change – Debrief Results, Build Capability and Initiate Planning
Learn & Sustain – Finalize Plans, Implement, Learn, and Adjust
Commit to Change and Take the First Step
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?Organizations (B2B)