Household air pollution caused by smoke from burning solid fuels for cooking is a major source of mortality and morbidity in India. Recent studies estimate that it is also a major contributor to outdoor pollution in addition to contributing to four of the five leading causes of mortality and morbidity. This problem also has a significant gender dimension. A rapid transition to clean-burning fuels and technologies for cooking can potentially address this challenge.
While the Government has announced programs such as the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and the National Clean Air Program, given the scale of the challenge in India, a coordinated national mission to move towards smokeless cooking would be useful. The note proposes setting up of such a mission and suggests contours of how such a mission could be structured, what its objectives could be, how it may operate and how it may be overseen. This mission proposal has benefited from the views of participants at a roundtable discussion jointly organized by Prayas and the Collaborative Clean Air Policy Centre on June 20, 2018 in New Delhi and discussions with various experts in the relevant sectors.
We hope this mission proposal initiates a conversation on the necessary institutional and policy framework to rapidly transition to smoke-free cooking in India.