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What is Ujjwala Scheme?

According to a report by India State Level Disease Burden Initiative, 3.8 million premature death in 2016 occurs from household air population by solid fuel. In India, still 56% of population uses solid fuel for cooking.

Government had initiated PM Ujjwal Yojana to eliminate the household air pollution and reduce health hazards caused due to dirty cooking fuel.

Objectives of Ujjwal Yojana:

  1. To reduce indoor pollution.
  2. Free LPG connections to BPL households.
  3. DBT transfer-empower women.
  4. To reduce health concerns associated with solid cooking fuel.
  5. To reduce air pollution.

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 Challenges of using conventional fuel:

  1. It harms the health of women who cook food- causes respiratory diseases.
  2. Harm to children.
  3. It adds on to air pollution. Indoor pollution contributes 12% of Global PM 2.5 concentrations.
  4. Reduces the life expectancy and results in premature deaths.

 

How far Ujjwal Yojana has worked?

Still 56% of population depends on solid fuel for cooking.

Reasons:

  1. Easily accessible of wood, dung cakes.
  2. Disincentivizing to refill LPG cylinders because of unavailability of money.
  3. Belief system in rural areas that food cookedusing solid fuel is healthier and tastier than cooked on stove.
  4. Belief among rural people that smoke from solid fuel while cooking purifies eyes of the person who cooked the food.

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Way forward:

  1. Awareness to be generated among people regarding the health effects of solid fuel use and benefits of using LPG.
  2. Advertisement on TV and Newspaper to use clean fuel.
  3. Gender Equality to be brought like advertisement of showing cooking is easy even for men using clean fuel.
  4. Incentivize people to refill their cylinders.

Hence, although policies are in place to provide clean fuel to people but people’s attitude and behavior is more tilted towards using solid fuel. So, proper steps must be taken to eradicate this belief system of rural people. Awareness generation is the key to change their attitudes.

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