''A message from Simon Bishop
Head of Policy and Communications
Shell Foundation''

"One of the biggest challenges the IAP sector faces is the lack of awareness about the issue - and the potential solutions - whether that be amongst IAP-affected households in India or the offices of Indian and global key opinion-leaders (KOLs). It is for this reason that the Foundation decided to launch awareness-raising campaigns, first at a local level in India, then targeting KOLs."

"The campaign's objective is to save lives, improve livelihoods and reduce emissions by actively promoting 'the' internationally recognised most effective way to tackle IAP - improved cook stoves. It follows successful trials, which ran from Nov 08 to Feb 09."

"The local campaign has begun in the District of Shimoga, estimated population 1.5m, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. It has an aspirational goal of making Shimoga an 'IAP Free District'. The idea is to create a demonstration effect that will attract support from others so that the campaign can expand elsewhere - eventually aiming for an 'IAP Free State' and then convincing the Indian government to commit to an 'IAP Free India'. "

"A 90-day blitz of communications activities is underway in Shimoga, including wall paintings, hoardings and mobile van campaigns (featuring flipchart stories, interactive games, street plays and stove demonstrations). We are also working with the local government to maximise reach."

"We plan to expand this local campaign dramatically in 2010, partnering with several Microfinance institutions with footprints across southern India, to promote improved stoves to their members. A campaign targeting Indian - then global - KOLs will also begin in early 2010."

For more details see: www.shellfoundation.org

See report in The Times of India