Monday, October 22, 2018



For many environmental hazards, women and children are the ones who take the brunt of the catastrophe. For instance, for acute drought condition, women have to tread miles to fetch a pot of water for the entire family, at times amidst scorching heat. On agricultural field, women are the most crucial victims of all forms
chemical pollution since they spend most of the time in the field as they do majority of cultivation activities.
At the home front women suffer most due to kitchen smoke, thereby become the victims of smoke pollution. Since most of the kitchen in the rural area are dependent on naked fire oven, they, it is estimated inhale smoke equivalent to ‘smoking 20 cigarettes a day’!
“Smokeless Rural Oven” is one feasible low cost solution to the problem. Many may think that this would encourage use of fire-wood, and , thereby augment further de-forestation ! Be assured that ordinary poor villagers use dry leaves, dry small branches, dried hay for fuel for the oven. It is the big eateries of the big towns who use bundles of forest wood for their kitchen!
Swadhina, supported by ERM has taken up a programme to promote Smokeless Rural Oven. The programme encourages “make your own oven”, so, in a sense this programme stresses more on technology transfer for a low-cost Or no-cost oven making.

Village Level Awareness:
The first step was to create awareness on the need for making such smoke-less oven. It was explained that this type oven has several advantages

-         it helps women from smoke pollution
-         it saves fuel, since with the firing of one oven-hole, the second hole uses residual  heat
-         there is no smoke inside the kitchen, thereby the kitchen remain clean from shoots.
-         these ovens can be made from available resources like mud and stones, available free.
-         the technology is so simple that women themselves can make without depending on outside masonry help.
During these village level awareness local language leaflet, printed in Bengali and Hindi were used which also elaborated on the design of the oven.

Addressing the Conventional Design Challenge:The Chimney Pipe: 
This was our primary concern because most of the design we found are using cement asbestos pipes. (We were having a hard time convincing villagers about the harmful environmental effect of  asbestos). Therefore after several rounds of consultation and design development, we have devised an environment friendly solution by way of using tin-earthen chimney- a kind of semi-terracotta pipe.

Making of  Rural Oven :

50 such rural ovens are being made initially in Jharkhand, by the users themselves, in Ghatsila, Mosaboni and Patamdah block of East Sinbbhum district.  The ovens are being prepared by the local women under the supervision of experts from Swadhina. This hands-on process is meant as a training for the women as well. So, that they can prepare new ovens themselves as well as repair any damages. The programme has witnessed a good response from the women.

These are ordinary women who took extra-ordinary leap towards a better life. We are with them. 
What about you ? 

Documentation & Presentation

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