Bancha in Betul district is the first village in India to have zero wooden stoves. More amazingly, there is almost no use of LPG cylinders in all of its 75 houses. It aims to rely on solar-powered stoves to meet cooking needs, claims social activist Mohan Nagar.
Nagar in his interview said, “With the help of a team from IIT Bombay, a special solar stove was developed. There are many places where solar plates are used sporadically for cooking, but this was different. No trees were cut by the villagers for lighting their stoves anymore”. The decision of the central government to choose Bancha has set an example which can be replicated to make other villages smoke and pollution-free.
Nagar is a member of the Bharat-Bharti Shiksha Samiti, NGO. He talked about the role played by the IIT Bombay team, and also thanked the union minister for Petroleum and energy.
Project Installation of Solar Panel
Solar plates, batteries, and stoves are installed in all 74 houses which started in September 2017 and was completed by December 2018. The model is designed for a family of five with three units of power generated per day. The stove weighs one kilo and indicates the status of the battery. It has three switches to charge the degree of heat. Two villagers have been trained to maintain the stoves in case there is a problem.
Harvind a resident of the village said they are now able to cook their food without hassles and it has also brought electricity to their homes.” He further said “We can cook our meals within half an hour and that too without the tension of emitting smoke from the stove. We don’t have to go to the jungle anymore to pick twigs and branches for the wood stove”. He termed it as one of the big developments that took place in his village.
Jamuna Bai, another villager said, “Earlier our eyes used to burn while cooking meals due to all the smoke. Our children too had to be sent to the jungle instead of schools but the situation has changed now. We all get time for ourselves and the kids can study now”. She was happy to witness the development that brought a change in her as well as the lives of the children across the village.
This shows the power of renewable energy and also an event that changes lives. Not only it will help the nation economically but also prove to work wonders for the environment if implemented across the country.
Currently, the IIT team and Manohar are monitoring the project to prepare an analytical report. Soon the idea will be replicated in a village of Hoshangabad district.