The Brahma Kumaris, the now global spiritual movement with its Headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan has grown to be a massive organisation. With hundreds of thousands of members and centers across almost a 100 countries.
One of the driving ethos of the movement is a push to be sustainable, and while that can be seen in many things they do, if you visit their HO in Mount Abu, two things will really stand out on this front. The focus on sustainable food practices, and energy. While the former manifests in the sourcing, production and processing of the food that is consumed at the Ashram, which incidentally also uses a lot of solar cooking, the latter is what drew us to the place.
What we found is a commitment to solar that is way older than anyone could have imagined, with the movement trying out solar along with battery storage as far back as the 90’s first. Sudhir Kumar, who heads the Electrical Division for the sprawling campus, told us that a key reason for the attraction to solar was its availability in abundance, the fact that it was clean, and in many ways, conforming to the conception of pure, as a natural resource. Solar is truly life giving for all on Earth, and for the group, the idea of using Solar energy was always an idea worth exploring. That is what led to the massive push behind the showcase 1 MW IndiaOne project for instance, which is a concentrated solar+thermal generation project built with German support. However, while IndiaOne was still coming up, the group also decided to go on their own for a regular solar PV plant of the same size, to be built adjacent to the IndiaOne project. Simply because Solar costs by 2018 had reached a point where the group believed the combination of ROI and sustainability was simply perfect. It’s a view that many corporates are coming around to now.