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Issue 9
, 2009
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What’s that smoke in the kitchen?

Source: Deccan Herald, Date: , 2008

Sauntering through the villages and small towns, it is not uncommon to see smoke emanating from the tiny windows of houses with thatched roofs. In fact, the sight of women seated in front of traditional stoves and cooking for large families is an endearing scene in Indian villages. However, what lurks behind the seemingly harmless smoke is the danger for our environment and health of our rural communities. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that smoke generated from indoor heating and cooking on traditional fires and stoves has been a lethal killer apart from issues such as malnutrition, unsafe sex and lack of water safety and sanitation. The charming sight of drifting smoke would wear off instantly once we realise that Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) causes up to 1.5 million deaths per year in developing countries and is responsible for respiratory and other kinds of ailments among rural communities.