Ms. Chandramukhi Rana was the first borrower I met during my field visit to M.Rampur. She lives with her husband in a village close to M.Rampur block in Kalahandi district of Odisha. Her husband is a farmer who grows rice, vegetables and pulses on a small plot of land they own. She was looking after her kids when I reached her home at around 11:30 am along with Mr. Manoj, the Branch Manager of Mahashakti Foundation at M.Rampur. We sat on the ground and started to converse with her about her routine life and what changes did the new improved cook stove bring about in her life.
She wakes up at 5:30 am and completes a few household activities before she starts to prepare breakfast at 7:00 am. She takes about 30 minutes to do so. She rests for sometime before she resumes cooking at 9 am. She takes about an hour and half to prepare lunch. She spends an equal amount of time in the evening starting at 5 pm to prepare the dinner. So, on a typical day, she spends no more than 3 hours on cooking while using the new improved cook stove. She says it’s very convenient to cook using the new cook stove as it ensures a safe environment. She is no more exposed to heat and smoke directly. Earlier, when she was dependant on the old cook stove, she used to spend between 6-8 hours on cooking. And the continuous exposure to smoke made cooking a strenuous task. Her family spends Rs. 150 to 200 to purchase fuel every month, which is barely one-third the amount she used to spend before. For a family with low means like hers, such a cost-advantage is a significant one. A major pro for her is the ability to multi task with the help of the new cook stove. She says “at times when my husband needs help with agriculture work, I can just take the cook stove and a few utensils along with me and help him at the fields while cooking at the same time”.[caption id="attachment_2465" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Chandramukhi Rana with the cook stove[/caption]
Sabitri Rana who is a member of Chandramukhi Rana’s group stays next door. Her convenience from the new cook stove is no different. She is not directly exposed to the heat or the smoke from the cook stove and she is able breathe clean air. She is able to save up to 3 hours everyday due to reduced cooking time. She is happy that she is able to convert her additional free time into increased income from her grocery business as she is able to run it for more time every day. Sabitri, in fact, took a step further and showed us how comfortable it is to use the cook stove by preparing tea for us before we left.