Towards A Better World with ProtoVillage

BW LPG warmly supports ProtoVillage as they find systemic solutions for rural resilience in India.

Covid-19 has been challenging on many fronts, to many people. And communities who feel the most impact, are often those with the least access to help. How can we help? How can we look beyond short-term assistance, towards long-term resilience? One way is by supporting community development and enabling local self-help initiatives. To this end, BW LPG warmly supports ProtoVillage as they find systemic solutions for rural resilience in India.

About ProtoVillage

ProtoVillage was founded in 2014 on 12.5 acres of barren land in Anantapur, the second driest district in India. It aspires to be the prototype of a resilient rural community, where people live in harmony with nature and blend native knowledge with contemporary technology for a sustainable way of life.

An aerial view of part of ProtoVillage in 2021
An aerial view of part of ProtoVillage in 2021

COVID-19 has exacerbated vulnerabilities in the healthcare and livelihood systems in rural India. But with challenges come opportunities for accelerated change and ProtoVillage aims to establish long-term systemic solutions to improve access to healthcare and livelihoods for the under-served and economically disadvantaged in rural communities.

Improving Healthcare with Telemedicine

COVID-19 has made it difficult for those living in rural communities to access hospitals or major healthcare centres in cities, either because of full capacity or personal fears of infection. To this challenge of access to quality and affordable healthcare, ProtoVillage will set up a healthcare centre and mobile clinic to serve over 50 neighbouring villages in the district.

Improving rural resilience in India
Shanti Kutiram

An existing building within ProtoVillage, called the Shanti Kutiram, will be converted to serve as a healthcare and telemedicine center, and be equipped with a tech station to handle patient and patient-care data, and to provide back-end support in scheduling and connecting patients with doctors. This space will also have facilities to enable doctors to treat patients. With the mobile clinic, a trained nurse will travel to care for villagers with mild, general ailments while creating digital health profiles for them, in a format prescribed by the apex health body of the Indian government. The profiles will allow ProtoVillage to collect data on common health issues to eventually create a targeted healthcare plan to address these issues.

A medicinal herb garden will be prototyped at ProtoVillage that can eventually be replicated at other villages, so that a significant number of day-to-day sicknesses can be managed within the local community. In addition, interested youths will be trained to build oxygen concentrators using open-source designs from validated sources, and in naturopathy to manage mild and general ailments.

Youths at ProtoVillage
Youths at ProtoVillage

Providing Hope through Entrepreneurship

With slim economic prospects in rural communities, young men and women had migrated to seek work opportunities in cities. However, COVID-19 had forced many to return home when opportunities in the cities ceased, and savings were depleted.

ProtoVillage has developed a model of business called Graameena Aarthika Mandali (Graamam for short), and it goes beyond the popular objectives of empowering women to be employable. Graamam aims to empower and develop women to be entrepreneurs.

Community Event at ProtoVillage
Community Event at ProtoVillage

ProtoVillage aims to grow the network of women entrepreneurs to 9000 women across 100 villages by 2024, starting with 100 by the end of 2021, running various enterprises in the Nutritious Food, Personal Care and Home care categories. This network of women will be organised into a Producer company owned by them, with ProtoVillage providing the R&D, training, quality assurance and marketing services.

BW LPG is supporting the building of a 4,000 sq. ft training facility infrastructure that will serve as a prototype to be replicated across the district with the aspiration to reach 90,000 women in the district.

Rural Training Centre at ProtoVillage
Rural Training Centre at ProtoVillage, under construction using sustainable materials

ProtoVillage is off-the-grid and is self-sustaining using wind and solar energy. However, food enterprises run in ProtoVillage and in the surrounding villages will use safe and cleaner-burning LPG for cooking, which when compared to traditional biomass, has minimal carbon emission.

Roasting millet crispies using cleaner-burning liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
Roasting millet crispies using cleaner-burning liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

At BW LPG, we aspire towards a Better World. There are many ways to realize our aspiration. One way we can do so, is to support community development. At ProtoVillage, the Shanti Kutiram, mobile clinic, training for youths, and Graamam training centre for women entrepreneurs have the potential to transform not just individual lives but entire communities. BW LPG stands with ProtoVillage as they take steps towards more resilient rural communities in India.

Read More

– Follow ProtoVillage’s Facebook page.
– Read about LPG and its benefits at The World LPG Association.
– Read about the benefits of LPG as marine fuel.
– BW LPG also supports Seven Clean Seas, a social enterprise focused on the removal of plastics pollution from river systems in Asia. Read about our collaboration here.

Topics: human capital development, gender equality, women empowerment, emissions reduction, carbon reduction, diversity and inclusion, community involvement, community contribution, local interactions, CSR, Sustainability, environmental protection, technology