September 30, 2016: IEEMA is concerned about the power theft issue prevailing in the country which amounts to the losses of approximately Rs 1 Lakh crore. IEEMA believes that if this menace is addressed, all reforms and programmes will be negated. Taking this philosophy forward IEEMA has instituted ‘IEEMA URJA NAVACHAR PURUSKAR’ and the newly instituted award has been conferred to Ms Usha Kunwar the sarparch of village Silhegarh, District Jhalawar from the state of Rajasthan and is widely acknowledged as the person who has single handedly turned around the state of sanitation and contributed significantly towards eliminating power theft in her village.
Smt Kunwar assumed responsibilities as Sarpanch of Silhegarh village in January 2015 and has since then, relentlessly committed herself to improving the conditions of sanitation and addressing the very high rate of power theft in her village. She was successful in overcoming the initial opposition from the community through tactful public awareness campaigns and achieving unanimous social opinion on these issues. In a short span of two years, Smt. Usha Kunwar has achieved what is considered, in many circles as difficult to attain.
She has been instrumental in building over 1300 toilets and the village is on its way to be declared “Open defecation free”. She has also ensured through public awareness that no court cases of her village are pending in the SDM Court under the “Nyay Apke Dwaar” campaign of the Government of Rajasthan.
Her village had a record power theft of 39% in 2015. Her dedication to the cause, supported by the Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JVVNL) and her husband has now ensured that village is completely electrified with legal connections and there are no instances of power theft through ‘katiya’. JVVNL has in turn improved the power supply to the village and is getting enhanced revenue.