National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) Chairman Tauseef H Farooqi recently presided over the graduation of Pakistan’s first cohort of certified women electricians.
The women electricians were trained under a programme launched as a collaboration between the K-Electric (KE) and Hunar Foundation to enhance the skillset of those women and empower them to support their communities.
According to a statement issued by the KE, the programme was an extension of the power utility’s Roshni Baji community ambassador programme that was also launched by the Nepra chairman in February this year.
The KE said that since their induction in the programme seven months ago, the Roshni Bajis had been engaging at a grassroots level with communities across Malir, Orangi, Surjani Town, Lyari and other areas, and have educated over 100,000 households on practices for safe use of electricity inside houses.
The initiative, according to the power utility, was in line with its vision to partner with communities to uplift and empower residents and it also followed Nepra’s vision of ‘power with prosperity’.
The KE said that the certification enabled the women electricians to break gender stereotypes, gain financial independence and create their own space in traditionally male-dominated spaces. The training has allowed them to successfully deploy complete internal wiring on a single-phase supply of up to 5 kilowatts from the power utility’s meters to the distribution board of a home.
Additionally, they have been trained in calculating the load and energy consumption of appliances, which can be used to ensure that the electricity supply inside homes is safe.
The power utility added that the Roshni Bajis had also been trained in self-defense, riding and maintaining a motorcycle, and communication skills to empower them with greater mobility and confidence.
Gender equality is an integral part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the KE said, adding that it was proudly contributing to the national effort to foster an enabling environment for the women.
The Nepra chairman commended the certification. “Nepra’s own CSR [corporate social responsibility] vision believes that transforming the socio-economic landscape of Pakistan can begin with an active engagement and development of local communities, and participatory models like what K-Electric is undertaking are a positive step which can drive a lasting behavioral change,” he said.
Nepra was also given a demonstration of the KE’s Geographical Information System (GIS) whereby the company was mapping its complete transmission and distribution network for greater visibility and real-time monitoring.
The power utility’s senior management also apprised the regulatory body about reasons behind delays in making the first unit of the KE’s upcoming flagship 900MW power plant operational. The authority directed the KE to expedite the process.