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Indian Ambassador introduces Solar Lolas at the PH Mining Club Luncheon
By Marcelle P. Villegas
In early April 2018 during the Philippine Mining Club Luncheon at I’M Hotel, Makati, the Indian Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Jaideep Mazumdar gave a warm and informative speech about the Solar Lolas Project, a project supported by the Embassy of India in Manila.
This project in the Philippines is under Diwata-Women in Resource Development, Inc.’s “Tanging Tanglaw Project”. Their mission is to train grandmas into solar engineers where the six-months technical training is conducted in India.
Overall, the project aims is to empower rural women and communities through skills training and the providing electricity to their households.
The Indian Ambassador to the Philippines joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1989. He also served in various diplomatic capacities in Hong Kong, Beijing, Chittagong, New York (for the United Nations) and in Cairo. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Beijing and in Kathmandu.
While in New Delhi, he has served in the Prime Minister’s Office on foreign affairs, defence and security issues, as Chief of Protocol. Most recently, he was the Head of the Southern Division in the Ministry of External Affairs of India looking after bilateral relations with countries in Southeast Asia, as well as Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island Countries.
Concurrently, he has headed the Nalanda Division in the Ministry of External Affairs, charged with the revival of the ancient Nalanda University, an East Asia Summit initiative.
Ambassador Mazumdar has a Bachelors degree in Economics and a Masters degree in Management.
Here is his speech during the PMCL:
“Ambassador Delia Albert, and all you very distinguished representatives of different organization and predominantly from the [Philippine] Mine Safety and Environment Association. Well, I was thinking to myself what I might bring in a meeting of the mining association, then I remembered that I was, many years ago, also in the mining sector and worked in a company called Oil India Limited, that was for oil and gas in India, Libya and from Soviet Union.
“And then I also thought that as a diplomat, our job is basically to prospect mine and exploit goodwill, so ours is not a different job from yours either. But the real reason that I am here, of course, is because of the Solar Lolas Project which in India and in any other parts, we call it the Solar Mama Project. And thanks to Diwata in the Philippines and to all of you from the association who have so generously been supporting this initiative of the Government of India’s ITEC Program (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation).
“This has taken a firm root in the Philippines. I used to handle the Solar Mamas Project when I was head of the division here in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island countries, back in India, and I could see even then the enormous potential that it has in a country like the Philippines, with a population of more than 7000 islands which are difficult to connect with any kind of central electricity grid, where isolated communities and in individual islands would benefit very significantly from exploiting renewable energy sources that is solar energy.”
“And therefore, the Solar Mamas or Solar Lolas Project which started here in the Philippines in 2014, now we are entering the second stage with a group of three Solar Lolas that are going to India and we are delighted that this is a continuing venture, and we seek to ramp up this engagement with the Philippines.
“It has been a great success elsewhere in the world as well, in Latin America, in Africa, in Pacific Island countries and several countries in Southeast Asia. And since the Prime Minister of India along with the President of France, President Macron launched the [International] Solar Alliance, we had the first solar summit in India last month where 26 heads of state and government participated.”
“This is really an area where there is tremendous potential for exchange of knowledge, ideas, practices, financing, and all that goes into a project like this. But the most important thing beyond everything else is, of course, the enthusiasm and the support of people like you to carry this project forward. And I am really very grateful to all of you for having supported this project of the Government of India’s ITEC scheme and look forward to its continued support from you.
There is a lot to be done and we are committed to ramping up this program very significantly in the Philippines. Thank you for inviting me and I wish the three Solar Lolas a very good stay in India, a successful training program and we will see you when you get back after six months. Thank you very much.”
For the past 8 years, the Philippine Mining Club is closely affiliated with the Melbourne Mining Club. The group was formed to create better relationships across all areas of the mining industry whose aim is to uphold a professional networking environment in promoting the exploration, extraction and minerals industry of the country. For more information about the Philippine Mining Club Luncheon, please visit www.philippineminingclub.com or send your enquiries at info@ philippineminingclub.com