India is home to more than 24 Crore households out of which about 10 Crore households are still deprived of green and clean cooking fuel and have to rely on firewood, coal, dung - cakes etc. as primary source of cooking. The smoke from burning such fuels causes alarming household pollution and adversely affects the health of Women & children causing several respiratory diseases/ disorders. As per a WHO report, smoke inhaled by women from unclean fuel is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour. In addition, women and children have to go through the drudgery of collecting firewood.
This Project aims for Rotary International's Area of Focus - Disease Prevention and Treatment by safeguarding the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel - Biogas, so that they don't have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.
Biogas forms naturally in humid environments with no air or oxygen and can be obtained artificially by fermenting animal or plant waste. Biogas Plants are a promising approach to decentralized rural development. A renewable source of energy for cooking fuel, conversion of manure into an improved fertilizer, waste recycling, rural development, public health and hygiene, pollution control, environmental management are some of the key advantages of Biogas Plants. These Bigoas Plants contribute locally towards the reduced use of firewood for cooking and other activities, leading to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Biogas Plants are now available as Portable ready-to-use Biogas Plants in the most successful 'Floating Type' designs.
It is estimated that if used regularly, alternative sources of energy like Biogas Plants etc may reduce the dependence on conventional sources of energy by about 20 %. Major benefits include:
1. The Biogas Slurry is rich in nutrients by more than four times than ordinary dung and also increases soil porosity and texture.
2. Rural people will gradually stop felling trees. Tree felling is identified as one of the major causes of soil erosion and worsening flood situation.
3. In rural areas, kerosene is used for lighting lantern and cooking in a limited way. Biogas Plants would be helpful in reducing dependence on this fossil oil.
4. Lastly, but most important social benefit would be that the dung being digested in the Biogas Plant, there would be no open heaps of dung to attract flies, insects and infections. The slurry from the Biogas plant can be transported to the farm for application in the soil, thus keeping the environment clean for inhabitation. Also, gas cooking would remove all the health hazards of dung cake or fire wood cooking and would keep the woman folk free from respiratory and eye diseases which are prevalent in villages.
It is planned to provide about 40 Nos of 2 Cum capacity Biogas Plants costing approx. $1000 each to individual households in the Jammu District in the State of Jammu & Kashmir during the year. The Club Members shall identify the individual households who are in need of these Biogas Plants and involve them to train them to use these Plants and lead a healthy life alongwith their children.