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Rourkela among 15 champion cities in Bloomberg Global Mayors Challenge, to receive $ 1 Million

Rourkela: Rourkela adjudged winner of the Bloomberg Global Mayors Challenge 2021 along with 14 other cities. Each winner cities will receive a grant of USD 1 Million from Bloomberg Philanthropies and technical assistance to carry out the innovation over the next 3 years.

Rourkela is the only Indian city to make the honour. Rourkela got selected for supporting solar power cold storage units to women food vendors, reduce food waste and increase access to fresh foods.

Amman from Jordan, Bogotá from Colombia, Butuan from Philippines, Freetown from Sierra Leone, Hermosillo from Mexico, Istanbul from Turkey, Kigali from Rwanda, Kumasi from Ghana, Paterson from New Jersey (USA), Phoenix from Arizona (USA), Rochester from Minnesota (USA), Rotterdam, from the Netherlands, Vilnius from Lithuania and Wellington from New Zealand are the 14 other winner cities.

630 cities from 99 countries from around the world took part in the Global Mayors Challenge held in June 2021. The competition focused on proposals on economic recovery and overall growth, health and welfare, climate and environment, good governance and equality. Rourkela along with Pune were selected in the 50 finalists cities.

As part of the project, Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) has developed a cold storage facility at the local Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Market in partnership with a NIT Rourkela based startup and managed by Women self help group members.

With this solution, the local farmers and fruit traders have been able to enhance their income by preserving their produce and preventing any wastage. In addition, fresh vegetables and fruits are delivered to people’s doorsteps, especially in times of COVID19. All of this is being managed by members of women self help groups using mobile apps. While developing the ecosystem and helping all the stakeholders, the model helps the women largely in augmenting their livelihoods.

Appreciating team RMC, Technical Partner Koel Fresh, research students and alumnus of NIT Rourkela who have shown commendable effort in the last 6 months, RMC Commissioner, Dr. Subhankar Mohapatra, said, “Through everyone’s contribution, Rourkela has clinched the Top 15 position in the world. The role of the women who manage the show is also worth celebrating. The prestigious Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Mayors Challenge 2021 award will not only help us to take the innovation forward but also inspire all stakeholders.”

Collector & DM Sundargarh, Nikhil Pavan Kalyan said, “With its uniqueness, the project immensely helps women SHGs, small vegetable and fruit vendors of Rourkela while delivering a smart service at the doorstep of the people. Moreover, this sustainable idea also promotes technology and aims to adopt eco friendly energy which are the key goals for the future generation.”

“As the world works to address the profound public health and economic effects of the ongoing pandemic, cities can implement innovative ideas at a pace that national governments simply can’t match,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. and 108th Mayor of New York City.

“Our fifteen winners offer bold, achievable plans to improve health, reduce unemployment, empower women, and more. Collectively, they have the potential to improve millions of their residents’ lives – and the most successful solutions will inspire cities around the world to embrace them,” he added.

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