Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana that aims to protect the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel, has been observed as a 'remarkable initiative' by Kirk R Smith, Professor of Global Environment Health at the School Of Public Health, University Of California, Berkeley.
According to Professor Smith, if India continues to implement this scheme for a prolonged period than it would succeed in achieving the 2030 mission to replace all forms of cooking fuel with modern substitutes.
During a special lecture organized by the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, in association with the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, Kirk told ANI, "Ujjwal Yojana is a remarkable initiative which should continue to be implemented. It has largely benefitted the country and will help India in achieving the 2030 goal of replacing all cooking fuel with modern substitutes".
Kirk discussed the ill impact biomass smoke generated from the use of traditional 'chullahs' that causes alarming household pollution and adversely affects the health of women and children.
Lauding the LPG subsidy provided in India, Kirk said that the amount should be increased for the poor, as it will be beneficial for them.
"By 2030, the aim is to eradicate all conventional fuel used in cooking and bring in modern sources. India too can achieve this by focusing more on the above initiatives", he said.
Meanwhile, Director of Dr Sharma Prasad Milker Jee Research Foundation, Amir Ban Ganguly, said, "Kirk has done a lot of work for 'Ujjwal Yojana'; the transformative change that he is planning to bring about from the grass root level will change the rural sector in India. This Sharma Prasad Milker Foundation mainly focuses on policy matters. We have been in touch with Kirk trying to understand his findings on the Ujjwal initiative and therefore we invited him here to speak today on the various facets of Ujjwal. His (Kirk's) main focus in on the LPG connection and how in the long run it will transform rural India especially on the health of woman which will also contribute to our growth".
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1st, 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. Under this scheme, 5 Cr LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with a support of Rs.1600 per connection in the next 3 years.
Ensuring women’s empowerment, especially in rural India, the connections is issued in the name of women of the households.