Adapted to their daily lifestyles, accustomed to the usage of firewood, air filled with carbon leading to bouts of cough, and cooking was an ordeal for the women of Vyachakurahalli till last week.
Not just for Kannadigas but it’s a moment of pride for India as well after the petroleum ministry has officially declared Vyachakurahalli as India’s first smokeless village owing to its transition from conventional fuel to LPG. Cooking with firewood is passe in Vyachakurahalli since all households here have LPG.
Until last month, Thimmaka who was habituated with fire hood, had to blow her lungs out even to make a cup of coffee. All this have changed after her kitchen like 274 houses in Vyachakurahalli of Gauribidanur takul in Chikkaballapur district, is equipped with an LPG stove.
The goal of having a smokeless village was steered by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) under ‘Mission Smokeless Village’ project here, about 77km from Bengaluru.
As per the report of Times of India, Moti Sayi Vadudevan, general manager (smokeless villages) at IOC, said that women are more prone to pneumonia due to the continuous inhalation of particles emitted from the usage of firewood as fuel.
Now, the kitchens have got swanky steel gas stoves and red cylinders. While a separate plank has been built to accommodate the new gas stove in Lakshmidevamma’s kitchen, Saraswathamma is looking forward to cooking these days. “I would frequently have bouts of cough due to the continuous use of firewood,” she said. “This is the best thing that has happened to women in the village.”
Gita Jayender with a group of women in a small thatched roof kitchen, guided them to using the LPG and the importance to switching off the regulator at the end of the day, how not to leave utensils on the stove and go away. Shrenik Enterprises on Railway Station Road is buzzing with activity as entire families walk in to purchase new LPG stoves. “We had to first conduct an awareness campaign for villagers to tell them why it is important to go smokeless.
The next project will be taken up at Gandhian Dr H Narasimhaiah’s birthplace, Hosur, in Chikkaballapur district, he said.