Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat was launched nationally by Shri. Vijay Rupani the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat in the presence of Chief Guest Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan, the Hon’ble Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas & Entrepreneurship and Skill Development, Govt. of India at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Also present on this occasion were Dr. Kiritbhai Solanki, the Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Ahmedabad(West), Shri. Shambhuji Thakor Deputy Speaker, Gujarat Vidhan Sabha and Shri. Ashokbhai Patel , Hon’ble MLA, Gandhinagar
Government of India realized that eradication of energy poverty is the single most important welfare measures that would facilitate economic wellbeing of the people. Providing clean fuel for cooking was an enabling measure for economic empowerment of the households. Against this backdrop, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MOPNG) with the objective of making clean cooking fuel available to rural poor households in the country, aiming to improve the health of women and children, decided to launch Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). .. It is also expected that as a result of using these cylinders, women will have to spend less time in the kitchen and they will be able to use the time saved in productive pursuits.
PMUY was launched by our honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji on 1st May 2016 and till date the oil industry has succeeded in releasing connections to almost 3 crore beneficieraries across 710 districts of the country under this scheme in a short span of 16 months.
LPG Panchayat Brings together about 100 LPG customers near their living areas on an interactive platform to discuss about safe and sustainable usage of LPG, its benefits and the linkage between use of clean fuel for cooking and women empowerment.
The LPG Panchayat would be done in an interactive and participatory manner. Some videos/audios would be used to set the context of the meeting. Some questions have been suggested to trigger discussions on specific themes:
Sustained and Safe usage of clean cooking fuel would generate some tangible and intangible benefits. Some of the tangible benefits show up immediately (saving of time, cleanliness, convenience) and some are visible in medium to long term (Health). Some intangible benefits are likely to be feeling of rise in status and dignity. The idea is to trigger a discussion on the benefits of clean fuel in the Panchayat through personal stories and experiences of participants. As women who have begun to use LPG cylinders regularly share their experiences, the message of clean fuel leading to women empowerment and positive change gets reaffirmed.
Switching to clean fuel is often not a one-time process. Getting an LPG connection is a onetime decision; getting a refill is a decision that is to be made afresh every month or so taking into account several factors including any emergency expenditure that the family needs to prioritise. Often LPG would be used in conjunction with the bio mass chulha. This is similar to the experience of many other countries. Some of the costs of using a bio- mass chulha may not be apparent, hence a simple exercise on understanding the cost of cooking on fuelwood/kerosene would be helpful.
Information about the LPG Panchayat may be disseminated through – reaching out to influential people such as ASHA, Angandwadi workers, PRI members, Primary School teachers; Public Announcement; Banner at a strategic location. Identify and invite a local woman leader a teacher, an Aanganwadi worker, a SHG member, a nurse/doctor/health worker, a police person, a businesswoman, a social/political activist, an advocate or an artist someone who has pursued and excelled in an arena outside homemaking and invite her to share her life story about how she managed her cooking responsibilities and how when she freed herself from them (eased the burden) was she able to play other roles in her life
Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat is thus an interactive communication platform of rural LPG users which encompasses arena like safe usages of LPG, its benefit to environment, women empowerment and women health motivate rural mass to use LPG as fuel. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development said the following during his address
He expressed immense pleasure that thru LPG he has been able to fulfill Hon’ble PM’s wish of serving and upliftment of Women in the society. Every year crores of women die because of smoke generated from household cooking. With Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana this will change and women could have a healthy and safe lifestyle. Hon’ble Prime Minister while launching the PMUY at Balia on 1st May 2014, promised that 5 crore LPG connection will be given in the span of 36 Months and in only 16 months today the 3 croreth LPG connection have been given to Smt. Kokilaben Parmar from Isanpur Mota, Gandhinagar(dist.), Gujarat. Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat is an initiative of the Government to reach the doorsteps of poor and under privileged women to educate them about the safety and efficiency, health benefits, positive impact on environment, economic development and empowerment on usage of LPG connections.We will organize one lakh LPG Panchayats to disseminate the positive impact of using LPG. 106 new LPG distributorships have been added in 3 years in Gujarat and also advertisement for 319 LPG distributorships have been published which will result in jobs for 5000 people. Ujjawala and Ujjawala PLUS will together help in reaching each and every household of India with LPG.