First days in Kathmandu and KAPEG presentation

Two weeks ago, my train from Chennai was arriving in the Gorakhpur train station. After more than 2700 km and 42 hours sharing a sleeper-class bed and after some long discussions with very nice people, I was happy to be arrived in this little indian city close to the Nepali border.

Train

On the train

Railways and pollution in Gorakhpur

I stayed two nights and one day there, where I enjoyed some rest (with my first hot shower since my departure from France) and the city visit before taking a first bus to reach the border gateway at Sunauli. From Sunauli, I took a last bus that went through some mountains and others beautiful landscapes before dropping me in the middle of Kathmandu, a bit lost and tired after almost an entire day in bus !

Gorakhnath Temple and its pond

Gorakhnath Temple and its pond

Gorakhnath temple

Gorakhnath Temple

Cows in the street (Gorakhpur)

Cows in the street (Gorakhpur)

Cycle Rickshaw - Gorakhpur (video link)

Cycle Rickshaw – Gorakhpur (video link)

Border Gateway - Welcome to Nepal

Border Gateway – Welcome to Nepal

At my arrival, I met two friends that I had met for the first time in Auroville, Antoine and Claudine. They just left yesterday and I’ve really enjoyed these days together. We’ve visited most of the places in Kathmandu, especially Durbar Square, Swayambunath also called the Monkey Temple and the famous commercial district of Thamel.

Antoine and Claudine - Durbar Square

Antoine and Claudine – Durbar Square

Durbar Square

Durbar Square and all its pigeons !

Shiva Representation - Durbar Square

Shiva Representation – Durbar Square

Sadhus

With the Sadhus !

Lord Buddha - Swayambunath

Lord Buddha – Swayambunath

Swayambunath

Swayambunath – Monkey Temple

A monkey overhanging Kathmandu city

A monkey overhanging Kathmandu city

Monkeys and eagles

Monkeys and eagles

Kathmandu is agitated during the day when motorcycles, cycle-rickshaw, taxis and cars are going through the crowd in the narrow streets of the city, especially during Saturday. Indeed here the holiday day is on Saturday and people are working on Sunday. All this heavy traffic in a city surrounded by mountains causes an important air pollution and we can see that many people are wearing a mask to avoid some respiratory problems. Except these problems of air and noise pollutions, as it is the case in most of the big cities, Kathmandu is a very beautiful city and Nepalese people are magnificent.

Kathmandu

Kathmandu

Nepalese children

Nepalese girl

Nepalese girl

A Nepalese people with mask

A Nepali wearing a mask

Despite having the second largest hydropower resource in the world, the electricity supply is not sufficient and there are approximately 10-14 hours of electricity per day in Kathmandu, with scheduled power cuts among 7 groups of districts. If you go in the mountains, the electricity supply is an entirely different matter.

Telecom and electric cables

Telecom and electric cables

KAPEG, Kathmandu Alternative Power and Energy Group, is a social company that is working on developing new energy technology to bring innovative solutions to overcome Nepal’s geographical and meteorological particular constraints. By primarily developing some new technologies, KAPEG also aspires to be socially involved. Therefore, the company is installing different pilot projects in extreme areas both in order to test the technology and to help population that are living there. The last project was the construction and the installation of a small wind turbine in a very isolated place somewhere in the Kalahandi district in Odisha (East India).

Kimon and Sulav, two 26-year-old KAPEG engineers, welcomed me this week and we are currently preparing a market assessment in the Jumla district that should start end of next week. Tomorrow, I’ll visit the Kathmandu office of the Practical Action NGO in order to get more information about the place and some tips for the market assessment.

Kimon and the small wind turbine in Kalahandi

Kimon and the small wind turbine in Kalahandi

The next article will introduce the different objectives and missions of the Jumla district visit as well as some statistics about this place. Stay tuned !

MinVayu – ORSED project : The first assessment

For my first visit in Kanyakumari district, I was with Sundar, a social development expert at ORSED, and we stayed together in Aralvaimozhi for the assessment, in the house of Neela and his family, who I would like to give a very warm thank-you for their very warm welcome.

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Vishnu before going to school – Neela’s son

This article presents the progress in the market assessment, especially the different objectives according to the current situation, noticed with some primary data obtained during several discussions with farmers, and the precise region of interest.

Objectives

Replace old diesel water pumps with wind-electric water pumping systems to protect the environment and reduce the annual farmers’ water-pumping cost (1), provide a better electricity access (2) in the village and help them to access basic electrical appliances such as water-purifying devices (3), which we would like to implement in order to reduce some disease risks due to coliform bacteria and pesticides… These three axes constitute the main objectives for the project in the Southern Tamil Nadu.

1. Replace old diesel water pumps with wind-electric water pumping systems

Very often we remarked that the electrical grid is really close to the banana or paddy crops, even in some places we saw transmission towers into these fields, but farmers still use diesel generators to pump the water during the dry season (see graph below) while they could use the electricity just over their heads… The question is why do they need diesel generator if the grid comes to the field?

The answer is quiet simple: there is no electricity within the grid, at least mere three, four or five hours of power per day and mostly at night time. By law, the Indian government has to provide free electricity to the farmers and is officially supporting the farms through numerous subsidies… but in the reality, this is really different. For the “lucky” farmers, the place is already electrified but they have no power most of the time. The others, i.e. most of the farmers, are still waiting to be relied to the grid, which would take a very long time and, most importantly, would be very costly.

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A water pump in banana fields

The Indian government is also subsidising the diesel but the cost remains expansive for the farmers. Our solution is to install wind, solar or hybrid systems, depending on the precise location, to replace these old polluting diesel pumps.

How to convince a farmer to pay, even a little, for such systems if he knows that the government should provide him free electricity access?

The mandatory requirement should be that the new system has to be cheaper than the diesel pump running costs, including installation and maintenance costs. To check this requirement, we first need to have precise data on the average annual expenditures for the diesel water pumping systems.

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Diesel generator protected from the rain with wood plank and banana leafs

Obviously this budget would not be the same for each farmer mostly because they are facing different constraints such as the depth of the water that is not constant, the generator that could be more or less efficient, etc. Therefore, the cost of each installations should be unique because of proper constraints and individual budget.

What would think a farmer if he has to pay more for a similar system than his neighbour? We should pay attention to equalised the price, which could be done through a community pricing system that has to be precisely determined. 

2. Provide a better electricity access

As we said before, the Government of India has to provide electricity to the farmers that represent approximately 119 millions Indian people according to the census 2011, without including the family of each farmer that would finally represent three or four times this number. Now, can someone explain to us how a government can provide free electricity to 400 millions people? Especially when this one is buying the electricity to private companies? I think, and I guess that you are thinking the same also, that this is not possible, even in the best of worlds. The only solution for the government to “fulfil” its obligations is to delay the grid expansion and to power the small electrified villages grid only three or four hours per day…

We are able to create small electricity production unit in farms and in the villages around, we would be able to provide them 24/24 electricity, the problem is how to finance these systems? Most of the farmers cannot afford directly this kind of necessary “luxury” for their development and that is why any company is trying to invest in this huge potential market… the risk of no-repayment is very high and of course this last one represents also an important constraint for the project that we are developing. Thus, the key to provide a better electricity access is to find a sustainable social financial system mainly by giving incentives to the farmers… a water purification system ?

3. Install water purification systems

Instead, install water purification systems could give them an incentive to pay for an electricity access because they will pay for something they can identify in the daily life, i.e. that they will pay for a recipient of purified water and then indirectly pay for the electricity. Firstly, this system will reduce different disease risks and could be a first step before they fully realise the different opportunities given by a constant electricity access: fridge, light, fans, TV, internet, etc.

The precise region of interest

Due to some confidentiality about the project, I cannot say the exact name of each place that we’ve visited. However, I’ve created an high resolution map for the project that give the frame of the covered region. Each case represents an area with proper wind and solar ressources. To be precise, I have found different meteorological hourly data from 2002 to 2011 for 81 GPS zone (from A1 to I9) and 100 GPS coordinates. These data will allow us to determine what is the best solution at a macro level between wind, solar or hybrid systems according to the available renewable energy ressources and their intermittency. The analysis is in progress.

High resolution map of the covered areas

High resolution map of the covered areas

Finally, this kind of project reveals how it is important to have a good understanding of the climate in the region, especially in terms of wind ressources, solar ressources and, last but not least, water ressources. Fortunately, ORSED has a great expertise in meteorology forecasting as well as social expertise and its experience about climate studies in Tamil Nadu is necessary and very helpful for the analysis. Basically, the state has three distinct seasons:

  • The dry season from January to May
  • The South West monsoon: moderate rainfall with strong southwest winds – from June to September
  • The North East monsoon: Important rainfall with dominant northeast winds – from October to December
Monthly average rainfalls (2004-2010) - Kanyakumari district

Monthly average rainfalls (2004-2010) – Kanyakumari district (source: India Meteorological Department – IMD)

To conclude, the climate is changing and seasons are not identical from one year to the next one. Indeed, you can observe on the graph above that the separation between season is not so clear over the average of the 2004-2010 period. That leads to an higher degree of uncertainty that complicates forecasting in the one hand but also exposes farmers to an higher risks of losses in the other hand, especially for those who don’t have water pumps, and the aim of our social project is also to bring different answers for these issues.

Me with "rich" farmers

We’ve visited different farmers, these ones were rich and offered me (too much) coconut juice (see T-shirt)

Pondicherry, an atypical city in India

After one month of being infused in the Indian atmosphere, I realise that the place where I’m living at the moment is maybe one of the most particular places in India. Except the fact that I’m staying in Auroville, which is a very unusual and very pleasant international town in the outskirts of Pondicherry, the place of Pondicherry itself is atypical compare to others Indian cities.

Someone special in Pondicherry

An atypical people in the atypical city of Pondicherry

A little geography and history

Pondicherry, which is also called Puducherry (since 2006) or Pondichéry (in French), is located in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India that is the 4th largest economy among all Indian states.

Pondicherry and Auroville localisation

Pondicherry and Auroville localisation

Pondicherry has known different colonial periods in History, but the French mainly held the control of the city from the year 1674 to the 1st November 1954, when the French government leave all the ancient territories of the French India under the control of the Indian Government. The French colony has given some rights to the Dalits people (the lowest caste) that were forbidden before like the right to wear clothes and shoes in the street, which have been at the basis of a certain social equality emancipation. Therefore, the French government has been regretted at that time of the Independence and is still regretted by some people nowadays. In this regard, the language of Molière is used by a part of the population and Pondicherry benefits from a special treatment especially lower taxes in some goods like liquors, which make also Pondicherry the perfect place to buy souvenirs.

The little city of Pondicherry

The map of the city (see below) demonstrate clearly the colonial influence with its perpendicular and parallel streets. There is three different districts with three distinct ambiances: the French district (the south part in orange) very quiet and calm, the Muslim district (the west part in green) with the delightful Muezzin’s call at 5 am and, finally, the Indian district (the center and east part in green) which is very animated and where driving a motorcycle looks like in a crazy video game !

Pondicherry's Map

Pondicherry’s Map

In others words, Pondicherry is not a very big city and its simple organisation makes the things really easy to take his marks, especially if you are french. There is no magnificent monuments but the entire city has a very special atmosphere. Indeed, you can do some shopping in Nehru Street with its many different stores, get lost in the Grand Bazaar (Goubert Market) with all its exotic sights and smells, drink a coffee with a french croissant in the modern french bakery, enjoy a beautiful walk or a motorcycle ride along the sea’s bay, spend an afternoon at the Government Place with its peaceful park… There is so many different ambiances that you should certainly appreciate the little city of Pondicherry !

A little visit in pictures

Talking, talking, talking… Sometimes, pictures are more representative than hundreds of words ! Am I Right? Anyway, let’s have a real look on Pondicherry !

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Rooftop view of Pondicherry n°1

Rooftop view of Pondicherry n°2

Rooftop view of Pondicherry n°2

Rooftop view of Pondicherry n°3

Rooftop view of Pondicherry n°3

These pictures were taken in the ORSED’s office, in the extreme west part of Pondicherry. Now, let’s go down in the street.

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Bicycles, a common mean of transportation

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A Tuk-Tuk with a driver getting some rest

Sea's  bay in Pondicherry

Sea’s bay by motorcycle in Pondicherry… what a fresh ride in the morning !

An Ambassador car... I am fan !

An Ambassador car… I am a fan !

A cow with a steamroller

A dog among the thousands of stray dogs in Pondicherry

A dog among the thousands of stray dogs in Pondicherry

Each Sunday, the main streets of Pondicherry are agitated with a lot of different stalls in front of the stores for the Sunday Market… It’s time to bargain in this huge mass of people !

Mahatma Gandhi Street

Mahatma Gandhi Street during the Sunday market…

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…there is definitely too many people !

Pondicherry is also a city with very diversified religious cults. For example, when I stayed in the muslim district during my first days, it was really special to be rocked by the Muezzin’s call. I let you discover this inspiring diversity in pictures.

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple - Ganesh

Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple – Ganesha

Here you can buy some offerings for Ganesh

Here you can buy some offerings for Ganesha

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And you can also marry you ! (Antoine and Claudine, 2 magnificent married Swiss friends)

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Église de Notre Dame des Anges

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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de l’Immaculée Conception

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Église de Sacré Coeur de Jésus

Sri Aurobindo's Ashram

Sri Aurobindo’s Ashram

“True knowledge is not attained by thinking. It is what you are; it is what you become.” ― Sri Aurobindo

The Goubert Market, the famous Grand Bazaar in Pondicherry, where you can fill your grocery basket with a lot of vegetables, fruits, spices, etc.

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Goubert market sight n°1

M2

Goubert market sight n°2

M4

Goubert market sight n°3

M5

Goubert market sight n°4

M6

Goubert market sight n°5

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“Fresh” Fishes

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Bag of spices in the Grand Bazaar

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A woman confectioning flower necklaces in the Grand Bazaar

Others representative monuments of the french period…

Government Place

Government Place

1914-1918 Memorial

1914-1918 Memorial

During the sunset, you can enjoy the end of your day admiring the sea with your friends.

Sunset on Pondicherry's beach

Sunset on Pondicherry’s beach

When the night is coming around 6 pm, we discover others surprising atmospheres with particular feelings. In these pictures, you’ll see lot of lights mainly because of the 60th anniversary of the Independence Day of Pondicherry (1st November 1954) and of Diwali’s Day (22 October 2014).

The sea's bay of Pondicherry by night

The sea’s bay of Pondicherry by night

The Gandhi Statue

The Gandhi Statue

Chief Secretary - Pondicherry Government

Eduardo front of the Pondicherry Government’s Chief Secretariat

Nehru Street by night

Nehru Street by night

A liquor store and bar

A liquor store and bar

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Sometimes indian people try to help dogs… (This lucky one is called Jimmy)

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… At other times, they try to help homeless people.

To conclude, I think that Pondicherry is a beautiful and interesting city to visit, especially if you are french considering the important french community that is living here. You will not come for visiting magnificent monuments but for living entirely in this atypical city of the South India.

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Pondicherry’s night atmosphere – Antoine Poget

Visiting Kanyakumari area for a market assessment

At the moment in Auroville, I’ll leave next week to visit different windy places around Kanyakumari, in the Southern Tamil Nadu. In cooperation with ORSED we will conduct a social market analysis in order to assess different characteristics concerning the population and the field for finding the best place to implement the first project.

Wind Map - Tamil Nadu

Wind Map – Tamil Nadu

As an economist, I would have expected a precise survey which could be done only in few days but the local conditions and culture don’t allow this kind of process. A market assessment in farms is much more complicated in the sense that you need the entire trust of the farmers before asking precise questions, which requests a certain dexterity and tact. Luckily the indian population is very welcoming with the foreigners and I’m very enthusiastic about this survey. To conclude, this weekend is a good time for the trip preparation while it is also the 60th birthday of the Pondicherry Liberation Day, when french territories were transferred to India.

Locally built small wind turbine development for the most isolated areas

Small wind turbinesOrigins

The idea of a locally built small wind turbine came from Hugh Piggott when he decided to build his own wind turbine on the Scoraig island in Scotland, a very windy region, in the 1980’s. After different projects for his neighbors, he defined the design for producing small wind turbines at low costs without any complex tools and making them suitable to be built with different local materials.

Nowadays, a lot of engineers from many different countries have adapted Piggott’s models by making the turbines well fitted for their respective rural areas and creating their own organisation. In November 2014, the 2nd Wind Empowerment Global Conference will gather all these different organisations, providing an opportunity to diffuse and share the global knowledge about small wind turbines and facilitate the electrification of poor rural areas in the world.

Hugh Piggott

Hugh Piggott

A mutual-benefits philosophy

“Saving by learning and learning by doing.” could represent the locally built wind turbine philosophy. Transfer the technology through different training workshops to farmers, villagers, etc., allows the organisation to delegate the operation and maintenance of the turbine and, by the way, reduce their costs. If you can teach some people living in the village the basics of the technology and the safety rules, you would not be obliged to hire a technician in case of problems which would imply added transportation costs and wages. Furthermore, the workshop is productive as the entire turbine is built and installed when people are learning the building process. Finally, each organisation can use workshops as a way of doing research, testing others systems in order to improve the entire technology.

Workshop Costs

A universal technology

Basically, a wind turbine is converting kinetic energy from the wind into electrical energy, which could be used for battery charging, water pumping, etc.. The blades of the turbine receive a part of the wind airflow and move magnet rotors, which convert the kinetic energy into a rotating magnetic field around another part called the stator transforming the magnetic energy into electricity. The small wind turbines power capacity starts from less than 1 kWh to more than 10 kWh, generally varying with the stator’s diameter and blades’ size.

The small wind turbine technology

The small wind turbine technology – From Jon Leary’s thesis – Adapted from Roland Beile / Tripalium

This initial technology is not only open source, it allows a flexibility for the local manufacturers to adapt the turbine’s design to the local constraints. In this sense, there are many possibilities according to the environment resources (wind speed, humidity, mountains or plains, availability of skills, electricity demand, etc.) to create the custom-fitted small wind turbine and improve its technical efficiency.

Global wind resources

Global wind resources

Use wind and light the world

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), approximately 1.2 billion people still have no access to electricity including 300 millions people in India. Most of whom are living in very poor rural areas, often very isolated and out of the grid.

People without electricity access

People without electricity access

If we consider the following graphic, the concave trend shows that the first kWh available has an important impact on the Human Development Index (HDI), which means that the electrification stage plays an important role in the development. By the way, small wind turbines as well as solar panels have to seize this important demand in order to improve local living conditions providing green electricity.

HDI function of electricity consumption

HDI function of the annual electricity consumption (Source: UNDP 2006)

However, it is important to consider the embodied energy, also called grey energy that represents the sum of all the energy used during the lifecycle (production, extraction, processing, manufacturing, transportation, implementation, use, maintenance and recycling) of a product. In this regard, small wind turbines should be far more competitive compared to solar panels as many pieces are built on the site with local materials mainly using human energy. One of the research axes in the future could be to find a way for easily determining the embodied energy in small wind turbines.

From wind water pumping to Internet

In the south of Tamil Nadu (Kanyakumari areas), the places are very windy according to multiple data sources (i.e. 3TIER previous wind map) and appear to be very suitable for developing and testing new generation wind water pumping technology. Moreover, there is more than 26 millions diesel water pumps in India which should be replaced using solar or wind energy. The Indian government has recently planed to invest 1.6 billions dollars (100 billions Indian rupees) in the next 5 years in order to replace 200,000 diesel water pumps (less than 1% of the market). In exchange, farmers would have to use drip irrigation system in order to save water resources. This investment of 1.6 billions dollars shows how important is the market to replace 3hp and 5hp diesel water pumps.

Indian Government in New Delhi

Indian Government in New Delhi

Following this objective, MinVayu is working on developing new technologies for more efficient wind turbines, especially to make the wind turbine systems lighter, easier to transport, install and maintain by testing some materials like bamboo. In cooperation with ORSED, their objective is to replace thousands of old diesel water pumps in the next years. By replacing this old system, this project would have a positive impact on the environment as well as on the trades balances and government budget of India, which is importing petrol and giving subsidies to sustain farmers’ diesel demand for water pumping.

Bamboo center for testing

Bamboo center for testing (Auroville)

To conclude, hundreds of small wind turbine installations would allow to create an important network reducing the maintenance costs and the non-repayment risk, especially if we are able to create a system with different incentives like battery charging in home and internet connection. The development of a such system would be the key to obtain fundings for developing a sustainable rural electrification as well as installing smart irrigation system and providing an access to the global network.

Testing in progress in Auroville…

New article in preparation about the project. The workshop in Bangalore was cancelled because there was not enough participants to cover the costs. At the moment, we are working on the prototype of wind turbine for 3hp water pump, making different tests in order to have an estimation of the potential extracted water volume. The weather’s conditions are not really good, which is making working conditions very difficult and slowing…

eduardo

Eduardo working on the earth connector (under the rain…)

Furthermore, I have decided to live in Auroville, which is an international community with multiples research fields and different cultural activities, where MinVayu is implanted. The place is very nice and peaceful, suitable for meditation.

Finally, with my new friend Eduardo, the best Venezuelan mechanical engineer as well as my spanish teacher, we have visited Pondicherry, been shopping, enjoyed nice food, etc. This week, I will publish both an article on the project and another one on Pondicherry.  Stay tuned !

Pondicherry sea's bay

Pondicherry sea’s bay

Préparer son départ pour l’Inde (du français, enfin !)

Voilà, il est un peu plus de 1h lorsque j’écris cet article. Nous sommes dimanche, mon sac et ma valise sont prêts, à quelques heures seulement du grand départ. Je quitterai la France à 15h00 depuis l’aéroport Charles de Gaulle pour atterrir à Colombo au Sri Lanka 10 heures plus tard, il sera 4h45 heure locale. Je reprendrai ensuite un vol à 7h00 direction Chennai où un taxi m’attendra à 9h pour m’emmener à Pondicherry, la première escale de mon séjour.

Je décide de faire ce petit article en français pour vous expliquer quelles sont les quelques étapes indispensables lors de la préparation d’un séjour en Inde lorsque l’on réside en France et également vous donner quelques astuces et bons conseils.

Premièrement si vous avez décidé de partir en Inde, et j’insiste sur le caractère premier, il faut faire deux choses importantes:

  • Prendre un rendez-vous auprès d’un centre de vaccinations internationales: pour cela, je conseille de vous rendre sur le site http://www.astrium.com. Vous y trouverez l’adresse et le téléphone du centre le plus proche de chez vous et un très grand nombre d’informations utiles (un tableau exhaustif des risques santé, adresse des consulats de France, etc.). Les délais pour obtenir un rendez-vous peuvent varier selon la saison, je vous conseille de vous y prendre assez longtemps à l’avance car certains vaccins nécessitent un ou plusieurs rappels. Même s’il n’y a aucun vaccin obligatoire pour l’Inde, sachez que les docteurs auront toujours de précieux conseils et qu’il vaut mieux partir informé.
  • Commencer les démarches pour obtenir son Visa: Tout d’abord, il faut avoir un passeport. Si ce n’est pas le cas, rendez-vous dans une mairie équipée pour les passeport biométriques pour y faire la demande. Quand vous avez votre passeport, une seule adresse: http://www.vfs-in-fr.com. Toute la procédure pour obtenir un visa y est bien expliquée, il faudra penser à faire des photos 5cm*5cm chez un photographe, vous aurez besoin de 2 photos de ce format pour la demande de Visa. Il est possible de faire la demande par courrier mais sachez qu’il faudra accepter de mettre votre passeport dans une enveloppe. Pour ma part, je n’ai pas voulu prendre ce risque et je me suis rendu directement dans leurs bureaux situés 42-44 rue de Paradis à Paris, à 10 minutes à pied de la Gare de l’Est ou de la Gare du Nord. Faites attention, ils sont fermés lors des fêtes nationales en Inde ! De plus, les délais annoncés sont “minimums” et il vaut mieux prévoir beaucoup plus large. Dans mon cas, cela a pris plus d’un mois entre la remise du dossier à VFS et le retrait du passeport avec le Visa, alors que les délai minimum annoncé était de 3 jours. Cependant, si vous demandez juste un visa de tourisme pour 6 mois, vous l’aurez très probablement la semaine suivante sans aucun problème, bien que parfois ils ne délivrent que 3 mois, arbitrairement. Pour information, VFS est l’organisme à qui l’ambassade de l’Inde sous-traite la préparation des dossiers de demande de visa ainsi que leurs remises. L’ambassade s’occupe de l’étude de votre demande. Si quelque chose ne convient pas, c’est elle qui vous contactera directement et mieux vaut avoir un petit bagage en anglais si c’est le cas. Enfin, en cas de problèmes lors de ce passage obligé, je ne saurai vous conseiller qu’une seule chose: être patient.

Ensuite, il sera important de vous assurer que vous êtes couvert en cas de pépin. Sachez que la sécurité sociale rembourse les frais de santé sur la base du prix des soins et des médicaments en France. Pour un pays comme l’Inde, je pense que c’est suffisant mais un petit détour chez votre mutuel ou votre banque (elle propose sans doute aussi des assurances compétitives) est conseillé. Un petit passage chez votre médecin traitant pour constituer une pharmacie de voyage me parait également une bonne idée. Vous serez content de l’avoir si vous tombez malade et même si rien ne vous arrive, vous pourrez donner les médicaments sur place avant votre retour… dans tous les cas ils seront utiles !

Voilà en résumé les démarches qui me paraissent indispensables avant un séjour en Inde.

Lorsque viendra le moment de commencer à préparer vos affaires, voici une petite liste d’objets pratiques que j’ai choisi d’emmener et que je vous conseille:

  • Une bonne paire de chaussures: Au diable vos talons mesdames ! Privilégiez une paire de baskets avec une paire de tong !
  • Un k-way: OK, ce n’est pas ce qu’il y a de plus glamour, mais cela vous sera bien plus utile qu’un bikini !
  • Des vêtements légers: Je vous conseillerai de les traiter avec un produit anti-moustiques prévu à cet effet (résistant à plusieurs lavage). Avec des vêtements légers et longs, cela vous protègera le plus possible des piqures sans pour autant que vous ayez à vous asperger d’anti-moustiques plusieurs fois par jour.
  • Une veste type sweatshirt avec fermeture éclaire: Elle ne prendra pas trop de place et pourrait servir d’oreiller ou de couverture dans l’avion.
  • Une serviette de bain microfibre: ultra absorbante, elle n’occupe pourtant pas plus de place que 2 paires de chaussettes.
  • Une paire de lunettes de soleil: Votre accessoire mode !
  • Un maillot de bain: Soyons fous !
  • Un produit anti-moustique: Oui, d’accord. On sait jamais, surtout en maillot de bain.
  • Une crème solaire: Bon, pour ma part je l’achèterais sur place si j’en ressens le besoin. Mais si vous avez une peau sensible, c’est un must-have !
  • Une trousse de toilette: Pas besoin de vous surcharger, prenez l’essentiel: brosse à dent avec dentifrice, gel douche corps et cheveux, déodorant et une solution hydroalcoolique pour vous laver les mains.
  • Rouleau de papier toilette et/ou paquets de mouchoirs: C’est obligatoire !
  • Une petite pharmacie: Passez chez votre médecin traitant. Pour éviter la Turista, il existe aussi un complément alimentaire appelé Lactibiane Voyage. Les avis sur ce produit sont plutôt positifs et les effets semblent réels! (Edit le 20 novembre: ça a marché dans mon cas, je ne suis pas encore tombé malade et ceci sans vraiment faire attention à ce que je mange… Donc je confirme !)
  • Une lampe de poche: Il peut y avoir des coupures d’électricité.
  • Un appareil photo: Pour immortaliser chaque instant de votre séjour. Prévoir suffisamment de mémoire (carte SD), une batterie de rechange peut s’avérer utile. Sinon, vous pouvez aussi opter pour un chargeur solaire avec batterie !
  • Un carnet d’adresse: Pratique si l’on veut envoyer des cartes postales. Par ailleurs, allez directement à la poste centrale de la ville où vous êtes, veillez à ce qu’ils vous fassent bien un tampon sur chaque carte et vous serez assuré que vos cartes ont de bonnes chances d’arriver à destination rapidement.
  • Un journal de bord: Si vous souhaitez partager vos impressions et votre séjour, ce sera un excellent outil pour conserver le moindre détail de votre voyage.
  • Le guide du routard: Un compagnon pour faire les bons choix et des économies ! Existe en version Inde du Nord et version Inde du Sud.

Si vous avez encore de la place, vous pouvez également faire plaisir en apportant:

  • Des habits que vous ne mettez plus, particulièrement pour les enfants: Vous trouverez quelqu’un qui saura quoi en faire.
  • Du vin, du chocolat et une spécialité de votre région: Des cadeaux que vous pourriez faire lors de vos rencontres.
  • Des cadeaux pour les enfants en Inde: Des bonbons, des petits jouets, des crayons de couleurs, etc. Libre à vous de faire plaisir !

De plus, en faisant cela vous êtes sûr d’avoir de la place dans votre valise pour ramener des souvenirs !

Bien sûr, il faudra également veiller à prendre:

  • Votre passeport avec visa
  • Votre permis de conduire (si vous souhaitez louer un scooter ou un autre véhicule)
  • Vos billets d’avion
  • Votre carte bleue
  • Des photocopies de vos papiers (envoyez également une version “scan” de ces derniers sur votre boite mail. En cas de perte, ce sera plus facile de récupérer des copies dans un cyber-café.)

Pensez également à vérifier les règles de votre compagnie aérienne concernant les bagages (poids limite autorisé, etc.) et à prendre un petit sac congélateur avec fermeture zip pour y mettre vos produits liquides qui doivent être inférieurs à 100ml (s’il y en a dans votre bagage à main), sinon mettez les dans votre bagage en soute !

Voilà, je pense avoir fait le tour… Il est temps pour moi d’aller me coucher car la journée de demain sera longue.

à bientôt !

MC.

valise

Valise prête / Suitcase ready

Time to say Goodbye…

Today at 3:00pm, I would be in direction of India !

I’ve finally got my Visa last tuesday. All the procedure for the Visa exhausted me during these previous weeks, the embassy firstly refused my visa request, asked me a lot of documents, I was obliged to do costly lightning trips between Nancy (my hometown) and Paris, etc. but i’ve got it !

I’ll arrive in Pondicherry on Monday and I’ll stay few days before going in Bangalore for handmade small wind turbines workshop. Stay tuned !

Info: The next article will be in french as its purpose is to advice how a french should prepare his trip in India, supposing that processes are different in others countries.