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Improved hearths

Book>> Cleaner Hearths, Better Homes: New Stoves For India And The Developing World • Douglas F Barnes, Priti Kumar, Keith Openshaw • Oxford University Press 2012 • Rs 595

By Vibha Varshney
Published: Thursday 15 November 2012

bookTravel to rural India and you will see several women cooking on mud stoves. In urban areas, labourers light stoves in front of their makeshift shacks. The simple appliance has been the reason for many debates in government and multilateral agencies.

Many countries have government-run programmes to promote stoves that reduce smoke. The improved stoves are more energy-efficient and require less biomass, reducing pressure on the environment.

The book analyses why government programmes to promote improved stoves have failed in India. Such programmes came to a halt in 2002 when government stopped subsidising them.

imageBut it was realised that improved cook stoves are ideal for reducing the impact of climate change and can be used to acquire carbon credits. Now India is again ready with plans to promote the cook stoves.

The book details the history of improved cook stoves in India and compares them with the stoves in other countries. Case studies from six states work as lessons to be learnt from the earlier failed programmes.

The case studies suggest that this time the programme should have more participation from NGOs and corporates. The consumer will buy the product if it works well.

The book is worth reading for the fact that it gives all the information about such programmes at one place.

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