These stoves also use firewood, cow-dung and other biomass like the traditional chulhas, but they emit less fumes and use lesser fuel, ideal for people who cannot afford fuels like LPG or biogas.

The Shell Foundation plans to promote clean stoves in India through "a market-based approach with private sector participation, focusing on availability, affordability, accessibility and accountability".

It is collaborating with stove manufacturers and microfinance institutions in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to promote the improved kitchen stoves.

"Given that firewood will continue to be used in most rural households, it is now largely accepted that the most effective way to reduce smoke is through improved stoves," Anuradha Bhavnani, regional director of Shell Foundation, said in an Interview.

"This is why building better stoves and finding a way to persuade the poor to use them has become a priority," she added.

Stove fumes as big a killer as AIDS - The Times of India