I am working for Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI). I am now in-charge of all the IAP related projects in ARTI. We have a stove testing and evaluation team who have been trained during the Shell Foundation funded project both by teams from University of California (UC) and Liverpool University.
Funded by the Shell Foundation (SF), four NGOs – Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI), India; Development Alternatives (DA), India; Grupo Interdisciplinario de Tecnología Rural Apropiada (GIRA), Mexico; HELPS International, Guatemala — received funding in 2004 to disseminate ICS stoves in rural areas. As part of this effort an evaluation of the effectiveness of the ICS in improving combustion conditions and in reducing IAP was required as a measure of the impact of the programs.
To facilitate this evaluation effort SF funded a team at the University of California (UC) to develop and deploy jointly with these groups a novel package of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) methods to systematically document the impact of each NGO’s ICS dissemination on IAQ and stove performance (SP) as compared to traditional cooking stoves used locally. Concurrently, a team at Liverpool University developed and deployed M&E methods for health and quality of life assessment in conjunction with these NGOs. I have been the Project Coordinator of this project.We have just completed the monitoring and field work of this project in August 2006.The project report is being finalised now and by the end of this year we will have the final reports of the projects.
In the course of this project I literally got to know rural India much much better and all of us who are part of the stove testing and evaluation team have developed a very close rapport with the villagers in the 17 villages we have been working in.
I am at present working on a project in which I am looking at ventilation and ventilators with respect to indoor air pollution in the rural kitchens. This is a very interesting project which is throwing up many challenging questions about the traditional and modern housing and architectural planning in rural Maharashtra. I have developed a great respect for the architectural knowledge of our ancestors who seemed to have better solutions for combating indoor air pollution from cookstoves. It is a challenging project and I am trying to calculate the ventilation in these rural kitchens from the Carbon Monoxide CO decay. I am also looking out for architects who will take up the challenge of designing and modelling 'perfect rural kitchen.'
ARTI has also been subcontracted by Winrock International this year inAugust,2006, to evaluate the indoor air quality in rural households of Saidpur in Bangladesh and also to evaluate their Improved cookstoves.We are doing this work in Bangladesh along with an NGO in Dhaka called Village Education and Resource Centre VERC.
GOAL-OLD (India) an Irish organization has taken up the challenge of bringing about a sustainable development of the urban poor in the mega-city of Kolkata in India by providing them with better living conditions. They are working with a local NGO called Right Track. To monitor and evaluate the change in indoor air quality in these urban slums and to bring about some intervention, Right Track has given the contracted to ARTI.This project has started in July,2006.
The third interesting short project is field evaluation of the Phillips woodstove. ARTI has been given the contract by Phillips for test marketing the stoves in rural India and also to monitor and evaluate the stove in the field.
So I am quite enjoying myself gaining rich experience from these above mentioned projects. Being the team leader it is very challenging and sometimes frustrating work but never never dull.
VI==Household energy experience==
I have been working on IAP related projects since 2002.My first project on this subject was sponsored by MNES, Govt. of India.
I am working for an Institute which has been working in the field of developing appropriate technologies for the rural population of India to upgrade their living standards.
Since the last 20 years ARTI has been developing various models of improved cookstoves which are not only fuel efficient but also reduce the pollution levels in rural households.
We have recently developed a cooker called Sarai Cooker which steam cooks food for a family of 3-4 using only 100gm of charcoal.100 gms of this charcoal costs only Re.1/- . The demand for this cooker is so huge that we have now developed a bigger model which cooks a meal for a family of 8-9 members.
The charcoal used in this cooker has also been developed by us and in sold at Rs10 per kilogram. This charcoal is made from agriculturalresidues and other light biomass using the the oven-and - retort process. The char coal powder is then briquetted and sold.
Another user friendly alternative energy source developed by ARTI is the compact 400 litres biogas plant . It uses only 1 kg of waste starchy material and produces daily only a few litres of effluent. The plant is extremely easy to maintain.
karabi.dutta at gmail.com
User:Dr Karabi Dutta 20April2009