Roshni-Towards Sustainable Urban Habitats

The Beginning

Madam Pratibha Patil’s concern for the environment and the need to create models for sustainable urban habitats in view of increasing urbanization led to her conceiving and launching Roshni as comprehensive “ Environment Management Initiative”. The initiative was aimed at making the President’s Estate a green and environment friendly habitat in which good practices of conservation and efficient use of energy are encouraged. It was for the holistic development of a habitat, encompassing environment management and empowerment of the community, especially women and children, and covers 13 environment related projects which were identified and implemented by a well-structured advisory committee and validated by an agency.

The President’s Estate became the first Urban Habitat to be awarded the “ISO 14001:2004 Certification” for its Environment Management System.

Spreading the Roshni

In a bid to universalize the ‘Roshni’ model for more sustainable habitats, a seminar on “Universalization of Roshni- a Green Innovation for Sustainable Urban Habitat” was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 2011. Smt. Pratibha Patil also urged the Raj Bhawans to make similar endeavors in their respective estates and spread the “Green” message in their States. These environmentally sustainable activities have also been carried out at the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Secunderabad through set up of a herbal garden and orchard, internal water conservation system , rain water harvesting and solar lighting.

Setting up of Self Help Groups

One of the major achievements of Roshni has been setting up 5 Self Groups within the President’s Estate where women SHGs are making vermi-compost, organic compost, paper bags and envelopes, masala grinding, etc. These Self Help Groups have not only empowered these women economically but have also enhanced their self-esteem.

The Roshni Prachodaya Society

To further facilitate the process of Universalization and also to ensure systematic institutionalization, ‘The Roshni Prachodaya Society’ was formed and registered under the Registration of Societies Act 1860. Its aim was to pursue and promote Smt. Pratibha Patil’s vision of making all urban habitats within the country eco-friendly and sustainable in the years to come.

Roshni Logo Contest

Children can be the true ambassadors of Roshni due to which “Roshni Logo Contest” was launched in association with CII’s India@75 on January 23, 2012 in which approximately 10,000 schools participated and for which nearly 3,500 entries were received from all over the country.

Golden Peacock Award

The Roshni initiative has been awarded the prestigious “Golden Peacock Award for Environment Management” for the year 2012 by the Institute of Directors (IOD) under the category-Government.

Safe Urban Habitat

In the light of incidents of children falling in abandoned bore wells and pits, it was suggested to have habitat committees monitor sustainable, safe urban habitats, so that such incident can be prevented to a large extent. This was also incorporated as a part of the Roshni initiative.

Let’s Spread the Roshni

Roshni has a website (roshni-rb.gov.in) to inform people about this green initiative under implementation at President’s Estate, in order to bring about a change in attitude of people towards a more environment conscious lifestyle and creation of more eco-friendly and sustainable habitats.