communicate the indoor air pollution problem to the people in rural India

More than half of the world’s population cooks with biofuels such as wood, coal, dung or agricultural waste. According to the World Healt Organization, more people worldwide die by gas emissions that arise from indoor cooking than from cigarettes. In India the number of people affected by such poisonous gas emissions is roughly 484 000 per annum. While cooking, women and their children are exposed to these gases - equal to 60 cigarettes daily.

This alarmingly high rate and the environmental problems that come along with cooking with wood, coal or cowdung made us want to face the problem. During our research, we found there are already plenty of cookers available in India that either replace the fuel wood or at least improve its effectiveness. But as we discovered on site, the main problem is that people are not aware of their advantages. People - especially in rural areas - do not know that cooking indoors at open fire places cause fatal lung diseases that often end in death.

To economically reach these people in all areas of India, we decided to use matchboxes to spread our message.These are traditionally used to light the cooking fire and are even found in the poorest families. Since there are several hundred different languages spoken in India, the issue is communicated with pictograms in simple images known in India. On one side of the box the problem is communicated, while on the other side cooking with biogas is proposed as a better/good solution. We consider biogas best suited for India, since the waste material is currently being burned in the streets and then could be used profitably. It would be better than cooking with solar energy since women could cook inside and even during monsoon time.


This report of our research about the indoor air pollution problem in India shows already existing sollutions and their difficulties (German language).


There are plenty alternative ways of cooking possible in India. (German language).