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.
Padma Hial with her low-smoke cook-stove