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 Climate Change

Energy
Published on: July 5, 2020, 7:23 p.m.
Persistent Systems is doing its bit for the environment
  • Solar installations have saved large amounts at railway stations

By Sekhar Seshan. Consulting Editor, Business India
S

avings of over Rs1.5 crore in the past three years have established the Pune-headquartered technology services company Persistent Systems Ltd’s commitment to the green energy initiative under its CSR arm.

“Being an IT industry, we understand the need for electricity,” says Sonali Deshpande, chairperson of the Persistent Foundation. “Our solar power plants are a response to the global sustainability goal (GSG) of making affordable and clean energy available to all.”

Under its flagship project, the Foundation installed five solar pawer projects in Maharashtra and Telangana since 2016: two railway stations, Pune and Nampally, Hyderabad; two charitable hospitals and a residential complex.

Working in Goa and Karnataka, too, the Persistent Foundation runs community development programmes that aim at enabling the people in these four states through various need-based initiatives. “We strongly believe that if a society develops, so will any organisation that thrives in it,” Deshpande says. These programmes are mostly need-based, for both rural and urban communities, and are in line with the GSGs set by the UN to be achieved by 2030.

It has also been working for the past eight years in the taluka of Velhe, 50 km from Pune, to satisfy the local people’s basic need of drinking water. This is a region with hilly terrain, where it becomes difficult for them to get out of their homes in the monsoon; and after December, they have to walk for hours in search of water. A woman typically walks three to four km carrying two pots of water at least three times a day in the hot summer months.

Persistent’s digging of 29 wells since 2012 and introduction of a Neerchakra, a wheelbarrow which can carry 80 litres of water, are helping to solve this problem for nearly 7,000 people and over 5,000 cattle.

Under the Maharashtra government’s ‘Jalyukt Shivar Yojana’ project to make a drought-free state, the Foundation has collaborated for identification of the villages to deepen and widen streams, build cement and earthen stop dams, and dig farm ponds. Its watershed development programme in Pune, Nagpur and Paranda districts has benefited more than 21,000 farmers in four years, irrigating over 10,000 hectares of farmland.

“This is the first time I have seen water in our vadi’s well in April,” says a septuagenarian resident of Thapewadi village. Villages on the same stream link have also received benefits, while the water table level of wells has increased.

The Persistent Foundation has also planted 20,000-plus trees around India – of which 9,244 were by 3,460 employees who volunteered for the ‘Plantathon’. “We take care of these trees for three years,” Deshpande says, adding that she is ‘overwhelmed’ by the enthusiasm shown by Persistent employees, who have given their time and money and participating in the programmes.


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