Bhubaneswar: Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) will engage more than 10,000 rural women as "Ujjwala Didis" to act as grassroot energy ambassadors across Odisha to ensure sustainability of LPG use.

"More than 10,000 Ujjwala Didis have been identified who will act as grassroot energy ambassadors all over Odisha," Chief General Manager, IOCL & SLC Oil Industry, Odisha, Subhajit Ghosh told reporters here.

He said Ujjwala Didis will act as a bridge between existing and prospective LPG consumers and the distributors in the state, which saw phenomenal growth in LPG households from 20 lakh in 2014 to almost 78 lakh in February, 2019.

Their positive intervention into the rural domestic energy ecosystem and distribution network help all in ease of booking for refill, issuance of new connections and sustainable use of energy.

Noting that Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has contributed to LPG growth in Odisha almost singlehandedly, he said PMUY was launched in Odisha on June 20, 2016 and since then 39 lakh PMUY connections have been given to poor women with nil security deposit.

While overall LPG penetration in Odisha has gone upto 73 per cent from 20 per cent in 2014, sustainability is the cornerstone of any successfully implemented scheme.

After assuming power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed to the better-off citizens to surrender their subsidised LPG cylinders, believing that they could afford unsubsidised cooking gas. This 'give up' campaign met with a huge success, with 1.04 crore Indians easing off the burden on the exchequer by Rs 57,000 crore. 

This money was used to supply LPG cylinders to poor households under the Ujjwala Scheme. 

The next logical step is to put in place a framework which shall lead to the desired effect in the socio-economic spheres of the beneficiaries on a long term basis.

In this regard, OMCs have come up with the concept of Ujjwala Didis, who are identified from PMUY beneficiaries.

They analyse the deep impact the changing energy landscape can make in the day to day life of rural women and their household, said an official.