All 274 households in Vyachakurahalli village located in Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka have LPG stoves now, and nobody cooks with firewood any more. The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has officially declared Vyachakurahalli as the first smokeless village in India.
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) had piloted the ‘Mission Smokeless village’ project in this village that is situated in Gauribidanur taluk, about 77 km from Bengaluru.
“The idea was to redeem women’s health. Due to the continuous inhalation of particles, women are more prone to pneumonia due to usage of firewood as a fuel,” Moti Sayi Vasudevan, general manager (smokeless villages) at IOC, told The Times of India.
According to the Union health ministry, 83% of women living in rural India die because of inhalation of smoke in the kitchen. The first smokeless village is a part of an initiative undertaken by the ministry to make oil companies adopt different villages and work on turning them smokeless by informing people about the importance of using gas stoves.
Cooking has been a very tough task in many villages of India. The soot filled kitchens lead to cough, and many long term health problems.
Source: Shazoor Mirza/Flickr
But now, Vyachakurahalli village has steel gas stoves in every kitchen, along with a cylinder. Women have also been taught how to operate LPG stoves and have been told about the importance of switching off the regulator at the end of each day. Shrenik R J, who is heading the smokeless movement in the village, informed that they had to begin with an awareness campaign to make people understand the ill effects of smoke that is generated when they cook with firewood.
The next project will be taken up in Hosur village of Chikkaballapur district.