An ex-lecturer from Delhi University, Ramesh Singh, (now based in Varanasi) has developed a bio-stove fuelled by dry rice husk, which can cook a full meal at a cost of just 25 paise.
Over 10,000 pieces of the husk-powered stove have till date been sold in various parts of East UP, particularly the naxal-infested Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonebhadra. The stove was develped last year.
Singh told Hindustan Times on Friday that the stove was designed in a way that merely 250 gms of rice husk could generate proper flame for cooking a square meal. The husk would cost a mere 25 paise.
Being popularised through an NGO Jaivik Urja Vikas Sansthan, the stove could go a long way in curbing carbon emissions and help check deforestation as poor villagers would not need to fell trees for fuel.
They could get rice husk cheaply from rice mills, Singh added. The switchover from wood fuel to rice husk would also ensure that children need not miss school to collect wood.
Easy to use : All that one has to do is to fill the iron tray in the stove with the dry husk, which then gets trapped in the burner. It is ignited with a small piece of paper and soon gives out flame, enabling users to cook a veg or non-veg meal for five to six persons within 30 to 45 minutes.
The stove can be used for two years, without any replacement. It is a potent mechanism for energy conservation and forest conservation at a time when the Central govt has launched the Green India Mission (2011-2021) to popularise technology that will reduce consumption of wood and other conventional fuel, said Singh.
The stove, priced at Rs 450 only, has been developed by Singh through an NGO Bharatiya Jaivik Urja Pratishthan, inspired by the Indonesian model of a similar stove. This stove will ensure clean cooking fuel in paddy growing areas, particularly the eastern, north -eastern and northern states, said Singh.
Feedback suggests that it ensures best quality food to its users. In states with scarcity of rice husk, other dry bio-waste, including dry sugarcane waste, wheat husk, mustard husk, gram husk and even small chopped dry leaves can be used as fuel.