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Smokeless stoves for rural homes in Karnataka

Apr 08, 2013

TIDE, a Karnataka-based NGO, disseminates smokeless stoves among rural women in the state using a gender sensitive market driven approach.

In 2002, Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE) launched the smokeless stove dissemination programme in Tumkur district of Karnataka to address the concerns of livelihood and environment preservation. After the initial needs assessment, TIDE identified Sarla stove, designed by the Centre of Science and Technology, to be the most effective as it was easy to build, use and maintain. Moreover, it required only agro-waste as fuel, which is very accessible to the rural community.

TIDE designed the programme such that it acts as an income generating opportunity for rural women and also promotes the use of better stoves. With the assistance of local NGOs, rural women were trained in the construction of the stoves and in spreading awareness among the community about the new technology. Today, some of these trained women work as stove entrepreneurs who construct and supply smokeless stoves in the region.

TIDE’s greatest achievement lies in the fact that it has transformed rural women into green-energy entrepreneurs, giving these women a confident and independent existence. These women have created an alternative livelihood option for themselves by overcoming the constraints of mobility.

Furthermore, TIDE has made available effective smokeless stoves to reduce the drudgery that rural women face while using traditional stoves, and also contributes in protecting the rural environment. Till date, the stove entrepreneurs have collectively built about 20,000-22,000 Sarala stoves in villages of Karnataka, enabling rural households to lead safer and healthier lives.

In January 2011, the Forest Department of the Government of Karnataka included the Sarla Stove in their "Hasiru Gram Yojane"(Green Village Program) and is now placing orders with TIDE’s stove entrepreneurs to create smokeless villages. These women travel across the state on behalf of the Forest Department to construct smokeless stoves.

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