Sonika Manandhar is Driving Change with Green Energy Mobility

In the busy streets of Kathmandu, there's a hero quietly making a difference. Her name is Sonika Manandhar, and she's on a mission to help our planet and empower women. Sonika studied computer engineering and decided to use her skills to fight climate change. Fueled by a passion for sustainability, Sonika is set on a mission to combat climate change and empower women through her groundbreaking initiative, Green Energy Mobility.


Sonika's solution, Green Energy Mobility, is a game-changer in the fight against climate change. It focuses on making public transportation, specifically electric minibuses known as Safa tempos in Nepal, a viable alternative to private vehicles. Sonika's big idea is called Green Energy Mobility. It's all about making our buses better for the environment. You know those electric minibuses we sometimes see on         

the roads? They're called Safa tempos in Nepal. Sonika wants to make them even better and more popular. And guess what? Many of these minibuses are driven by women!

So, why is Sonika so focused on these minibuses? Well, for one, they don't pollute as much as regular buses and cars. That means they're better for our air and our planet. But there's more to it than that. Sonika wants to help the women who drive these minibuses. She wants to give them loans so they can make their minibuses even better and safer for everyone. These Safa tempos, often owned and operated by women, are not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also empowering women in a traditionally male-dominated sector.

"At Aloi, our vision is to help women own and upgrade their electric vehicles through low-interest impact financing," says Sonika. "By providing drivers with access to loans and women with clean and safe transport options after 8 p.m., when most public transportation ends, we are not only reducing emissions but also fostering female empowerment."

Sonika's innovative approach doesn't stop there. Green Energy Mobility utilizes big data to collect traffic patterns, providing valuable insights for city planners to drive a more efficient future. By leveraging technology and data, Sonika is revolutionizing the way we think about public transportation and urban planning. She also happens to be one of Nepal’s highest flyers, almost literally, as she was selected to participate in International Space training at the Korean Aerospace Research Institute.

Recognizing the importance of Sonika's work, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has lauded Green Energy Mobility as a welcome effort to empower women and decarbonize the transport sector. Inger Anderson , Executive Director of UNEP, emphasizes the critical role of innovative solutions like Green Energy Mobility in combating climate change.

"The global transport sector contributes one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions," says Andersen. "Our success in rapidly decarbonizing this sector will depend on how we use data, design better cities, and encourage cleaner public transport systems. By focusing on the role of women in the transport sector, this innovation is a welcome effort to empower women in a traditionally male-dominated sector."

Sonika's efforts have not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized as a Young Champion of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme, joining a prestigious group of innovators dedicated to environmental sustainability. Markus Steilemann, Chief Executive Officer of Covestro, emphasizes the importance of supporting young entrepreneurs like Sonika in tackling global environmental challenges.

"The business world needs fresh thinking and much more of a start-up culture to tackle global environmental challenges while ensuring our long-term growth," says Steilemann. "The Young Champions of the Earth can help achieve this, and everyone at Covestro is proud to support them. We want to help make the world a brighter place."

And if that wasn’t enough, Sonika has also been recognized by other important organizations. She's won awards from the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and Welthungerhilfe. Plus, she's been named an Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic Society. These awards show just how special Sonika's work is and how much it's helping our planet.

Sonika Manandhar's journey is a story that shows the power of innovation, determination, and female empowerment. Through Green Energy Mobility, she is not only transforming transportation systems but also paving the way for a cleaner, greener future for generations to come. As we continue to face the challenges of climate change, Sonika's vision serves as a ray of hope, inspiring us all to drive positive change in our communities and beyond.

Written By:

Saroj Sharma

Saroj has an experience of over 9 years working in the development sector as a social worker, educator and an independent researcher. She has worked extensively with the marginalized community in India and Nepal. She is an avid reader and takes a profound interest in writing, preferably human stories.

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