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The story of Bimla Devi and the biogas plant in India

Gasum donating a biogas plant to five Indian families. Thanks to the biogas plant, the women of the families will spend much less time gathering firewood, since gas will replace wood for cooking. The air they breathe will also improve, because there will no longer be flue gases inside from burning wood and manure.

I am Bimla Devi, wife of Ghanshyam Gujjar of Gaddarwada village in Bandikuin block of Dausa district in Rajasthan. I stay with my family of 10 members and have 10 animals. Agriculture and Animal husbandry is the sole source of livelihood for the family and we own 1 hectare of land. Earlier, firewood and dung cakes were exclusively used for cooking which ensued high pollution in the kitchen along with the blackening of utensils and soot soaked kitchen walls. High indoor pollution level contributed to health issues like eye irritation, throat infection etc. Furthermore, lot of time was spent for collection of firewood and in making of dung cakes. On an average, 10 kg to 12 kg of firewood along with at least 3 dung cakes, each on an average of 700gms, was used for cooking.

HPPI project leader met my family and convinced us for bio-gas plant by apprising its viability on the economic front, reducing cash outflows for firewood, chemical fertilizers, medicines, etc., reduced smoke inside the kitchen and lesser workload for women. Thus, in March, 2015, bio-gas plant of 2 cubic meter was constructed with active support of HPPI and was commissioned in April, 2015. I am very happy to share that after carefully following all the instructions of HPPI project personnel for the use of bio-gas plant and its stove, my family is using pollution free and odourless gas for use for cooking in the kitchen. This technology has relieved me from lot of household chores.

n addition, Bio-slurry which is nitrogen rich and weed free by-product of bio-gas plant is used in our fields, which has not only increased the yield but have also reduced the expenses on chemical fertilisers and pesticides, with the assurance of organic rich food for my family members. The reduced indoor pollution has resulted in decreased respiratory problems and eye ailments on account of cooking in a smoke free environment and saved the women from drudgery of collection and carrying of firewood, exposure to smoke in the kitchen, and time consumed for cooking and cleaning of utensils.

In addition, the wood from our land is directly sold in the market which has become another source of income and now more time is contributed by me in farming activities which was earlier done by daily wagers so it results in saving the cost of labour employed during crop cutting.

Therefore, I hereby extend my greatest thanks to HPPI and the employees of GASUM for having given us the technology which is serving as a boon for us.