Rural women struggle to get proper access to clean cooking fuel even today despite decades of work done by voluntary NGOs and governmental agencies. Since biomass fuel resources are abundantly available across the country, there are a few cleantech startups and renewable energy enterprises that are working towards bringing self-sufficiency to remote rural regions through distributed renewable energy (DRE).
Ecoideaz brings you case studies of a select few enterprises who have done commendable work in their field. These enterprises are members of the CLEAN Network, which is a large consortium of various DRE-oriented enterprises across India. Karnataka-based BlueMatch Impact Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is one such DRE enterprise that makes smokeless cooking available for everyone by producing and distributing high-quality cookstoves and biomass fuel.
Jayalakshmi is a homemaker hailing from a small village in south Karnataka. Her association with BlueMatch originates from 2017 when BluMatch ran a pilot project in her village. Jayalakshmi spent around 6-7 hours everyday in the kitchen. Her major struggle was with unwieldy firewood, so cooking for a large family of 8 wasn’t an easy task. Jayalakshmi ended up spending most of her time in the kitchen. Although she was also a mother to school-going children, spending quality time with them was a constant struggle for her. Long hours of conventional cooking also caused severe health issues for her such as eye soreness and coughing.
During the pilot project period in June 2017, Jayalakshmi was given a BlueMatch Ecostove as an alternative to the traditional cook stove she was using. The Ecostove was powered by biomass pellets, a more efficient and longer-lasting fuel, which helped her to cook faster and tastier food, as well as spend time with children and save the extra money spent earlier on firewood. With the increased use of the highly efficient smokeless cookstove, her health started to see significant improvements. Her story of transformation also made her a BlueMatch Ecostove Ambassador.
In April 2019, when BlueMatch Impact Solutions started on full scale as a private limited company, Jayalakshmi was enrolled as a proud staff member. From then on, she has been educating women on adopting a healthy cooking lifestyle. She is now focused on paying forward the happiness that BlueMatch brought to her life.
BlueMatch’s mission is to empower rural & tribal and other impoverished women and families to help them build a healthier, sustainable and more productive future. BlueMatch does not see clean cooking as a stand-alone social issue, so it provides services that create a positive impact on health, women empowerment, livelihood, and black carbon emission mitigation, circularity, public awareness programs. Working on all these issues, helps the company cover various UN Sustainable Development Goals right from poverty alleviation to climate action.
Sharmista Shankaranarayana, Managing Director, BlueMatch says “At BlueMatch, we strongly believe in women empowerment & rural development through our achievable & sustainable goals. We are passionately, strongly & ecologically driven to make a positive impact on the world especially through clean & safe cooking solutions which means it’s a continuing progression for many households and to the environment on a larger scale”.