India is home to more than 24 crore households, out of which about 10 crore households still do not have access to Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and have to rely on firewood, coal, dung cakes etc. for cooking and heating purposes. The smoke from burning these fuels causes alarming levels of pollution and adversely affects the health of all household members, especially women who end up spending a large part of their time in the kitchen and susceptible children, causing respiratory diseases/disorders. As per a WHO report, smoke inhaled by women from unclean fuel is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour.
In places where LPG facility has been provided, the villagers still do not use it as it involves expenditure. They are habituated to chulhas (burners) which run on firewood as fuel. They venture out into the forest to collect firewood, a free source of fuel for the chulhas. Daily collection of firewood leads to deforestation and also gives way to human-wildlife conflicts.