Commending the efforts made by entrepreneurs in the social sphere by uplifting people living on the margins, Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh on Friday opined that it is important to celebrate the changemakers as they are the ones who have the courage to decide and act.

Bringing about a change gives the biggest satisfaction, Singh, who was the chief guest at the businessline’s Changemaker Awards 2023, said appreciating the efforts being made by entrepreneurs in the social sphere, particularly in the rural and hinterlands of the country.

“Thinking about changemakers, what came to my mind was that only when you make a difference, that you can say that you have justified your existence. Whether it is for a few people or the whole country. That, I think, is the best reward, and that you will remember always. Awards are important. They motivate us and also that you have the satisfaction of having done something which made life better. Those who recognise good work are also contributing to this,” he added.

The Minister said that organisation like Amul or schemes such as the Jan Dhan Yojana or the online payment interface UPI have empowered people on the margins. Loans to street vendors (PM Savanidhi) are another stellar example of uplifting the grass roots.

Singh said that the Ministries of Power and New & Renewable Energy have also acted as changemakers in taking power to each and every home in the country.

“What we did was that we transformed our country from a power deficit to a power surplus. Today, our established capacity is 425 gigawatts (GW). We export to Bangladesh and Nepal. When our government came into office, the power deficit in 2013 was 4 per cent. In 2011 it was almost about 11 per cent. Today, it is almost zero. Now, you can transfer 120 GW from one part of the country to another. We strengthened the distribution system by spending ₹2.10 lakh crore,” he added,

He further said “We made generators history. That is our contribution. We ensured universal access by connecting every village and every home. We connected 2.90 crore homes in 19 months. The International Energy Agency (IEA) called it the largest expansion of access ever in the history of the power sector. All this was because somebody had the courage to decide. The Prime Minister said to connect all the villages in 1,000 days and we did it in 987 days.”

India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) was that by 2030 the country will have 40 per cent of its installed capacity from non-fossil sources which India achieved 9 years in advance. So one has to decide and work on it with a single-minded focus, he opined.