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In this Chhattisgarh district known for its dense forests, tribal villagers are embracing an innovative and cost-effective technique to burn less firewood while cooking. In Bijapur, a severely Naxal-affected district in Chhattisgarh's Bastar division, a silent revolution is taking place, entirely driven by the villagers. Locals in the area have decided to move from traditional chulhas (stoves) to smokeless ones in a bid to save their green cover.
The movement, started by a single villager, gained the sanction of residents in a dozen villages, and today, over 1,980 smokeless chulhas (clay stoves) have been successfully set up in households, and 166 smokeless chulhas functions in schools and anganwadis (rural child care centers). The initiative not only cuts down the need for firewood but also reduces indoor air pollution, thus improving the health of the women using these stoves.
The beginning of a transition
The Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh is spread over more than 6,500 square kilometers, a majority of which is either dense or open forest. Of the 2.5 lakh people who live in the district, 85 percent comprise indigenous tribal, forest-dwellers whose survival is solely dependent on the forests. The tribes earn their livelihood by collecting and selling minor forest produce like chironji, tendu patta, mahua, Tora, tamarind, etc.
"The locals of Bijapur cut timber from the forests and use it as firewood in chulhas. This is used to cook food, boil water and meet other household needs. But as more and more timber was used for firewood, the depleting trees began to concern villagers and a few officials.
"The amount of firewood consumption has increased over the years, which is a worrying trend," said a district official who wished to remain anonymous.
The PM Ujjwala Yojana, which was set up to distribute LPG cylinders to Below Poverty Line families, has been slow to pick up in Bijapur. Out of the 48,000 eligible households, only 25 percent have been covered under this scheme. However, the lack of motorable roads makes it logistically challenging to bring the rest of the deserving households under the scheme. Refueling of the cylinders is a huge problem when people have to travel dozens of kilometers on bad or no roads to reach ration shops and cylinder distributors. Anil Kawre, a local who has been a part of several programs with the Department of Health, recalls how the idea of smokeless chulhas came about.
"When we saw the depleting forests, we thought of starting something so that the load on the forests is reduced. We know the locals heavily rely on forest wood to be used as firewood in chulhas, but we thought we have to find a way to minimize the input of firewood and maximize the output," he told 101Reporters.
Kawre learned about the smokeless chulha a few years back, through the Phulwari scheme launched by the Chhattisgarh Health Department to battle malnutrition in children and reduce indoor air pollution. The smoke released in traditional stoves was causing many ailments like asthma, pneumonia, cancer, chronic restrictive lung disease, and other respiratory health issues. In fact, indoor air pollution has been termed as the silent killer of the rural kitchen. While the Phulwari scheme is inactive now, the memory of the smokeless chulha stayed with Kawre, who had also been part of the project.
Making of Chapati, an Indian bread, in a chulha.Wikimedia Commons
He began talking to the women in his village, telling them about the smokeless chulha and its many benefits. Many women were keen to make the shift from traditional chulhas and readily agreed. Smokeless chulhas were introduced in their homes and as the word spread, more and more women came forward to make the shift.
The smokeless chulha and its benefits
The smokeless chulha is built using bricks, an iron rod, and a pipe for the outflow of smoke. According to a report by Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences & Technology Trust, the smokeless chulha uses up to 50 percent less firewood than the traditional chulha. It is designed to continuously supply adequate oxygen, thus enabling efficient combustion. This results in up to 80 percent less smoke production. In addition, since the smokeless chulha has a double mouth, you can cook two items at once.
Kawre explained, "It costs around Rs 300 to set up a smokeless chulha. It reduces cooking time by 50 percent. It will take you 45 minutes to cook on a smokeless chulha while on a traditional chulha (an open-air structure of mud or stones with a single mouth), the same meal can take one and a half hours to cook."
Dharmendra Pradhan distributed the LPG connections to the BPL women under PM Ujjwala Yojana, at Gadapalashuni Village, in the Dhenkanal district of Odisha.Wikimedia Commons
But the most important benefit is the reduction in firewood requirement, feel the villagers. "A person doesn't need to go to the forest every other day to collect firewood. The amount of wood needed has reduced," said Surti Netam, a local. Kawre added that the felling of trees has reduced. "The tribals cut down forest trees mainly to use as firewood. They don't use it for commercial purposes. So this has definitely come down," he said.
According to a report by Ramkrishna Muley, Chairman of Sri Sri Institute of Agricultural Sciences & Technology Trust, Bengaluru, "A rural household uses up to 3,000 kg of firewood per annum. The average cost of firewood is Rs 2 per kg. Since the improved smokeless chulha uses 50 percent less firewood, a rural household using this chulha will save 1,500 kg for firewood in a year." Muley in his report further states that a pilot exercise demonstrated that saving 1,500 kg of firewood meant the saving of at least three full-grown trees.
"If an entire village of say 200 firewood-burning households adopts the improved chulha, then this village will be saving 600 trees per annum. This is equal to about 1.5 acres of forest area," he wrote. Kawre and his team aim to set up these smokeless chulhas in every household in the district. (IANS/KB)
(what does chulha mean, smokeless chulha, benefit of smokeless chulhas, traditional stoves, the PM Ujjwala Yojana)
The Reformation in England is notorious for the religious impact it had on the countries of the world, and the current ongoing dispute among the various factions of Catholicism and Protestantism. Three Blind Mice, a rhyme that emerged in 1609, roughly a few years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I, is somewhat a dark reminder of the Dark Ages.
The Reformation began in England when King Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic church because he wanted to divorce his wife, to marry another woman who would bear him a male heir. His wife was a devout catholic and refused to give up her crown to another. The king decided to break away from the Papacy, from Rome, where the Catholic church reigned from. He created the Church of England, and put himself as the legal head. England broke into two factions based on religion, and after Henry's death, the country was plunged in war.
Henry's eldest daughter, Queen Mary I took the throne after her father, and propagated Catholicism, as taught by her mother. Henry's other daughter, through his second wife, Queen Elizabeth I embraced the Protestant faith. Queen Mary was always paranoid of losing her throne to Elizabeth, and she hated the Protestants because of what happened to her mother. She set about ruthlessly persecuting anyone who openly professed their faith, which led to her being known as 'Bloody Mary'.
Illustration of Christian protestants being burned at the stake Image source: wikimedia commons
History has recorded the death of three Bishops, Ridley, Lattimer, and Crammer, known as the Oxford martyrs. They were burned at stake for teaching the Protestant doctrine. The rhyme Three Blind Mice is believed to be an allegorical allusion to the incident of the bishops' execution. They are called 'blind' because of their refusal to recant their confession. Queen Mary is said to have "cut off their tales with a carving knife" and is referred to as a farmer's wife to lighten the scene for children; perhaps to also reduce the ruthlessness of the act.
Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice (Modern version of the rhyme, Wikipedia)
Three Blind Mice is sung widely in nurseries of the world by little children, often innocent of the true story behind it.
Keywords: Three Blind Mice, Nursery Rhymes, Reformation, Persecution, England, Queen Mary
The pandemic brought about a global boom of entrepreneurship in 2020. Thousands of small businesses launched in the UK last year, and many were very successful. Some businesses started as passion projects, while others aimed to fill a hole in the pandemic market. Services and products, like at-home workouts, popped up all over social media from new and exciting businesses. The pandemic left many Brits financially unstable and scared for the future of their career. Launching their own business gave them something to focus on again and a small amount of income.
The Financial Times reported that the number of registered companies in the UK increased by 30% in 2020. As the world returns to normal, it will be interesting to see how these new businesses approach the post-pandemic world.
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If you have just set up a new business, here are some essential marketing tips to get the ball rolling:
Exploit social media
Social media is one of the most effective marketing platforms available. You can connect with a global audience for free and market your product or service to them. Post consistently and use high-quality imaging to catch your audience's attention. Engage with potential customers by replying to direct messages, comments, shares and likes. Use a few platforms to maximise your exposure and create a strong brand identity.
You can connect with a global audience for free and market your product or service to them. | Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash
Network as much as you can
Networking is a vital part of business, and you can do it on and offline. Use sites like LinkedIn to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and those in different industries. Reach out to them directly and ask about their company or role. You might be surprised by how much you can learn from one conversation. Once in-person events return, you should look to make the most out of meeting people in your industry. You might find brands to collaborate with or a mentor to learn from. Make sure to hand out your business cards at the event so people can get in touch with you in the future.
Networking is a vital part of business, and you can do it on and offline. | Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Create a blog
You need to be an expert in your industry. Create a blog and share your journey of learning to be a business owner. You can share your expertise and why you started the company, which other entrepreneurs can read and learn from. Your knowledge and experience might be extremely helpful for those just starting out. Use a range of marketing techniques to launch your business into the next phase.
Use a range of marketing techniques to launch your business into the next phase. | Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and include some commercial links)
One of Indias fast growing Direct To Consumer (DTC) beauty and personal care brands, MyGlamm, launches its national TVC around the message 'All Natural #NoNasties today with actress Shraddha Kapoor, who is also an investor in the brand.
Kapoor who has a great millennial and Gen Z connect introduces 'My SUPERFOODS Kajal' which has No Parabens, No Mineral Oils, No Nasties while still being long-lasting and smudge-free and made with the goodness of nature. This is followed by many girls trying applying the kajal with confidence and while highlighting the ingredients Avocado Oil, Goji Berries, Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Oil.
Commenting on the campaign, Apratim Majumder, CMO, MyGlamm says "Women have been telling us about what they want from their beauty products for a while now. Wikimedia Commons
The brand focuses on creating quality products that are high efficacy made with all-natural and no chemicals in the formulae. his campaign follows the #TellMyGlammWhatYouWant campaign where women logged in to tell the company what they wanted from their beauty products. It aims to establish a beauty democracy by giving consumers the power to tell the brand what they want thus changing the entire experience of how women buy beauty products in India.
Commenting on the campaign, Apratim Majumder, CMO, MyGlamm says "Women have been telling us about what they want from their beauty products for a while now. We have been innovating to serve those needs with products. When they told us that they want a kajal that is not only long-lasting and smudge-proof but also takes care of their eyes, we knew we had to do this. The campaign is about telling everyone out there who told us they need a kajal that cares, MyGlamm Superfoods Kajal is here for you! The campaign debued on MyGlamm's social channels- YouTube & Instagram on September 16. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, Direct beauty brands, My Glamm national, girls, kajal, confidence ingredients, Avocado Oil, Shraddha Kapoor