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A Mobile Cooking Booth Reward Initiative that challenges communities to cook with greener methods
We identified the problem of ‘indoor air pollution’, specific to the Indian rural
community which people seem to be oblivious about. Food is cooked on the
mud stove or ‘chulha’ emitting harmful smoke which is a major health hazard
especially for the women as they are the primary cooks here.
DEFINING THE ISSUE
Our ideas were formed by first-hand research and reviewing existing research on the topic of household air pollution. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in more people staying at home, we felt that this issue may have worsened with more people confined inside their home.
According to STATE OF GLOBAL AIR / 2019 by Health Effects Institute in India
846 million people or 60 % of the population are exposed to household air pollution in 2017
Mud Stoves or ‘Chulha’ which is used on a daily basis in these households even today are found to be the main problem.
We came across a gender divide in the issue. Based on the 2018 Survey of Rural Sanitation and Solid Fuel Use we know that women age 25-50 are most likely to be the main cook in the household, which makes them more vulnerable to the issue.
Mothawadi, Banka Bihar District
Age: 50 Years old
Family: 5-6 people
Monthly Income: 10,000 rs (135 USD)
“ The smoke from the Chulha’s bother me, but I don’t have other option and don’t know of any other choice, gas is very expensive ”
“There is no other problem
with switching methods of cooking,
the only thing is money”
Co- founder & CEO of Greenway
Appliances, one of the the largest
clean cooking company in India.
“ But how bad it is (air pollution), is definitely not as well recognised as it should be. You dont see the kind of urgency that there should be. ”
“ Things that others have done around indoor air pollution have been informative but have not been either exciting enough or scary enough “
KEY INSIGHT & PROPOSAL
Based on existing data and talking to various stakeholders, some stressors to the problem that we’ve identified, and how it links to our proposal:
A mobile cooking space will bring the initiative
closer to the people, growing awareness directly on the ground level.
Mobile Cooking Space on the move
The program also come with a reward system that allows them to get the stove on a subsidised price.
This proposal also aim to bring women out of homes, where they can connect and socialize in the space.
Set upped version
How This Initiative Works
Cooking Booth Loyalty Programme This initiative sets up a cooking booth within the neighbourhood, allowing the community to use the facilities and equipment for free for a limited period of time. Each household would be tasked to overcome a challenge to be awarded with a subsidised stove.
1. Register for the challenge
The starter kit includes a coupon card, and a brochure containing information on air pollution, some helpline contacts and the programme timeline. The coupon will be used to record how long each individual has used the cooking station. Designated personnels would be at the booth to facilitate the coupon system, gather feedback of the service as well as convince people to enroll for the programme.
2. Start Cooking
This station will have the biomass stoves set up for the community to begin their challenge. There will also be provision for a passer-by to test out the stove to encourage participation and
conversion. Individuals are encouraged to actively participate in the challenges to meet their goals.
3. After You Win
Upon meeting the goals, the participant will be rewarded with a subsidised eco-friendly stove. If one is not able to make it to the final target they will still be able to purchase a stove at a lower subsidy.
Ultimately, each individual will have the opportunity to acquire a stove, irrespective of whether they meet the final target. They can take home their new stove and use it to move towards a cleaner environment as it is also their right to breathe clean air!
VIABILITY AND IMPACT
Practicality in the Real World For the various iterations that we have considered prior to the final idea of the booth, we have factored in real world conditions such as:
Physical Space on Site
The booth should be compact to travel on the narrow roads of a village and be able to set up in a small physical space.
Mobility or Stationary
To ensure maximum reach to rural communities in different parts of India, and also keep it cost effective.
To ensure maximum participation of the community it is made as a space where people can cook, dine together while the children can learn more about air pollution in the interactive play area.
Social and Environmental Impacts
Empowerment and Inclusivity
We wanted the people to feel in control of the situation, hence at every milestone the decision is on them from commencing the challenge to using their newly acquired stove.
We also attempted to ensure a family participation to involve all age groups and genders by setting up separate stations for different cooking activities. To involve the younger ones we designed an interactive play area where they could learn more about air pollution.
A Positive Difference Using Available Resources
The programme is designed in such a way that it guarantees an eco-friendly stove to everyone who participates, irrespective of whether they complete the challenge or not.
This will ensure maximum replacement of mud stoves, hence promising cleaner air and lesser health hazards. Being a rural setting, power sources would be unreliable, so we added an internal source from our side. Having a compact, mobile booth will facilitate easier transportation to different locations. The booth can also use second hand materials for the chairs and tables.
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