India is the third-largest carbon emitter globally, after China and the United States. The country is already suffering the devastating impact of climate change with frequent droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. At the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged that the country would become carbon-neutral by 2070, a target date 20 years later than the mark set by the United States and ten years later than China's—but still a big step forward for India.
In such a scenario, a Rajasthan-based Rukamni Devi Kataria chose to stand up and address the issue. Her journey from a Kirana shop owner in a village in Rajasthan to the CEO of Durga Energy began after she brought together a group of women to build small cooperatives to lend microloans to other women. In 2016, Solanki hired her to distribute solar-powered lamps to the village's children to enable them to study at night. However, when Katara had to travel out of the town for the first time, her husband asked her not to go, and she went anyway, leaving all her valuable belongings behind until her husband came around. Since then, he has not stopped her from going elsewhere.
Was Married Off At The Age of 13
Rukamni was married off at 13 and was expected to carry out all the 'wifely' duties of looking after her husband, his family and their business, thereby heavily curtailing her ambition. However, she chose to deviate and select the path of becoming the face of a mission to ignite a solar energy revolution in India's villages. Her company, Durga Energy, manufactures solar electricity and has a workforce of 40 women, including many women who never passed class 12.
Her idea was supported by IIT Bombay and the government of Rajasthan. The company has sold more than 3,00,000 solar panels since its operations in 2017. Even though the solar-powered energy in her locality is minuscule, the hope of empowering women in rural, urban and semi-urban areas keeps motivating her. Moreover, the company wants to message that climate change can be fought two-directionally. The first objective is to reduce the lasting impact on the environment; secondly, employing women without technical backgrounds could improve their social standing.
Showcased For 'One For Change' By National Geographic
National Geographic has announced the launch of its one-of-its-kind initiative titled 'One for Change' on Earth Day. Rukamni Katara is one of the chosen ones for 'One-of-change'. Her story was aimed to inspire and encourage viewers to take that one step and 'be the one for change' the stories will focus on the journey of passionate individuals and get the viewers acquainted with their lives, their passions and shine a light on what pushed them to follow the unique path of planet conservation. And as an Earth Day unique, the One for Change initiative will highlight the inspired works of 10 changemakers – who have each made a path-defining choice a difference.
At The Logical Indian, we salute the spirit of Rukamni Katara and the likes who are breaking the glass ceiling by rising above the ordinary and are also spearheading the movement of making the earth a better place.
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