The MOU signing ceremony was held at the Buksh Group Head Office on November 25th 2013 in the presence of the CEO Buksh Foundation, Ms. Fiza Farhan, Head of Operations and Finance Buksh Foundation, Mr. Danyal Hussain, Group Head Branchless and E-Banking at United Bank Limited, Mr. Abrar Mir and Vice President, Mobile Payments, Branchless and E-Banking at United Bank Limited (UBL) Omni, Mr. Umar Rafique.
The Lighting a Million Lives (LaML) is an initiative launched in December 2012 by which the Buksh Foundation has helped provide solar electricity and mobile charging facility to 72 villages in 12 districts of the country. It is a facilitator of energy sources rendered by Buksh Energy Pvt. Ltd., along with employment means, technical training and women empowerment for 72 needy women. The project picks one woman from rural communities to empower into an entrepreneur given her family needs. This woman is called the Light Lady i.e. the “Roshna Bibi” of that village.
The United Bank Limited (UBL) has helped further drive this iniative via UBL Omni which “brings a host of banking services to your nearest ‘Dukaan’”. Now the Roshna Bibi can rent out the solar lanterns at Rs 4/Lantern and pay the Buksh Foundation Rs 2. for after sales and monitoring services via branchless banking from anywhere in Pakistan. These Roshna Bibis will be acting as financial agents for those rural communities to ensure an indigenous financial industry.
On November 12th 2013, United Bank Limited also partnered with Buksh Energy Pvt. Ltd. for Solar Agri Finance and an MOU was also signed in this effect. Buksh Energy Pvt. Limited has collaborated with the United Bank Limited (UBL) to finance Solar Energy solutions namely Solar Water Tube wells for farmers in the rural communities of Punjab who were previously using diesel generators for irrigational means. The underlying purpose of this partnership is energy conservation and facilitation of the farmer community. It will provide them with irrigation means as well as meet their energy needs on a daily basis. Further initiatives on the part of United Bank Limited (UBL) and Buksh Energy Pvt. Ltd. include the conversion of the ATM network to Solar across Pakistan for the uplift of society. Buksh Foundation and Buksh Energy Pvt. Limited both work nationally with diverse donors and partners to help better the standard of living of rural communities of the country, making them self-reliant in getting access to sustainable energy and clean water and having a safe and healthy lifestyle.