Since the inception of this work, we have introduced the idea of our smokeless chulah to a handful of villages in the Districts of Palghar, Kasara and Shahpur in Maharashtra. In Palghar’s Sajjan village we were able to train a few community members in collaboration with one of our big supporters of the project – Hemant Chhabra of Hideout Farms. Hemant saw to it that his farm immediately shifts to this chulah in order to reduce the burden of smoke and firewood for his staff members employed at his farm. Palghar project was a pilot in the initial phase of our work and idea was to plant the seed here.
We also took our project to Kamli Pada in Kasara district. Kamli Pada is a fairly underdeveloped area and men do not have any major source of livelihoods here. We could not take our project further here as the community did not come forward to participate in our training programme. However, we hope to return to this geography soon with a strong grass roots partner.
Shahpur district has one of our ongoing projects where Shid pada and Farde pada village residents have gone through our training programmes and are now moving towards their kitchens becoming smoke free. Wood collection is one of the gravest issues plaguing this location. It is a tremendous physical burden as majority of the women go to the forest every day in a month, carry about 40 – 50 kgs of wood per trip, and bring back to their homes. Recently, the villagers were issued a notice by the Forest Department to stop venturing into the forest for wood. While they claim to use dead or fallen wood, this too can affect the ecology of the forest itself and cause accelerated deterioration.
You can read more about our experience in MAHARASHTRA in our blog section