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Indian Microfinance Provider Wins 2012 Ashden Gold Award

An Indian state microfinance provider has won this year’s Ashden Gold Award for green energy. The Shri Kshethra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project (SKDRDP) in Karnataka state,India, has won the overall Ashden Gold Award of £40,000 in London.

The Award was presented by Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, the director General of UNIDO and Chair of UN-Energy. In this prestigious event, Dr.Yumkella said that each government around the world must agree the right policies and investment incentives that nurture sustainable energy champions.

SKDRDP provides affordable loans to families in the area, helping them buy renewable energy systems that improve their quality of life. This successful programme so far provided nearly 20,000 energy loans. In this finance system, people make informed choices on what energy products they buy.

In India 69% of population live on less than $2/day where 44% of people lack grid electricity.

According to Dr. Manjunath of SKDRDP, the Ashden Gold Award is a great step in recognizing that poor people need financial services to acquire sustainable energy assets. He also added that until now microcredit only meant to improving livelihoods but this award will redefine the scope of microcredit.

In Ashden judges’ opinion, SKDRDP is a fantastic example for ethically managed microfinance which delivers sustainable energy to the poor and the organization has a potential to expand its work and to inspire many others to follow its lead.

The Ashden Award was first introduced in 2001 to encourage the greater use of local sustainable energy to address climate change and alleviate poverty.

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