As the stoves need much less fuel, families don’t have to keep constantly replenishing their supply, and thus have more to spend on food, education and medical care. Most importantly, families are freed from the threat of deadly air pollution.
However, the project is about far more than a new method of cooking. Through training and encouragement, local communities – and particularly women – are equipped with the necessary entrepreneurial skills, allowing them to generate income by becoming the key producers of the stoves themselves.
Chanchala Hantal, 35 from Puruna Dumuripur, has taken full advantage of the opportunities provided by the project. As an active member of her local community, she formed a self-help group for women to discuss personal and social issues. With passion and determination she led her group to start a poultry business and gained a contract to supply eggs to 56 schools in Koraput. The group was the ideal development partner and Ms. Hantal and her fellow members became the main producers of the clean cook stove in their region. For Ms. Hantal, the project has been a revelation. Now fully trained in the design and manufacturing of the stove, she’s been training other groups in the locality to produce their own. With less time spent slaving away at an inefficient stove, she has more time to spend with her family, and her fuel expenses have decreased considerably. Already an inspirational figure in her community, she knows this process has only just begun, and it will continue to benefit her, her family and the people around them for many years to come.