Padma Hial with her low-smoke cook-stove
When living frugal is the need of the hour, the cook stove does its part
Padma Hial lives with her husband, daughter and son. When I went to visit her, I saw tied outside her house, a goat feeding on a bunch of green leaves surrounding it. Her husband does livestock business and earns a meagre Rs.5000 in a good business month. She took a loan from Milaap to purchase a solar lantern; instead, she thought she needed the low-smoke cook-stove more considering the circumstances around her and purchased one. Her son was diagnosed with a heart disease and was once admitted to a hospital in Cuttack; he still requires regular treatment. The monthly expenses of the family run upwards of Rs.3000, excluding the medical expenses of her son. So, saving even a rupee is a priority for her family. Now the low-smoke cook-stove consumes very less firewood, around 1-2 sticks per meal as against 4-6 sticks by the conventional cook stoves. So Padma, instead of purchasing firewood at a high cost, is procuring it from the nearby jungle directly. She, thereby, saves up to Rs.400 every month. While the reduced cost of cooking has been a major advantage for her, she is very happy about her safe and pleasant cooking experience with lower cooking time and less smoke made possible by the new cook stove.