The Clean Stove Project

Arunachal Pradesh, India

In remote and impoverished areas of Himalayan India,

where no international project has reached, there is a humble and compassionate Tibetan Buddhist monk working quietly and tirelessly to improve the lives of the villagers.
His name is Geshe Pema Dorjee, and he has dedicated his life to alleviating suffering.

One of the causes of suffering for these villagers is the damage wrought by the traditional open fires that they burn constantly in the middle of their one-room huts.

The fire is used to provide warmth in the bitterly harsh environment, and it is the sole source of heat for cooking, but it is inefficient and a major source of pollution. Worst of all, there is no ventilation, and so the huts are constantly filled with thick smoke. Small children and the elderly are the most vulnerable to the toxic effects of the smoke, and these include blindness, lung diseases, and death.
In 2013 we decided to see the problem for ourselves. It is hard to describe just how remote and isolated these villages are. After flying from Delhi to Guwahati, it took us 3 full days of harrowing driving in a jeep to get to the tiny town of Lumla, our base in the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh. The scenery was gorgeous,
and the villagers were delightful,
but their plight was apparent and heartbreaking. When we saw how the ceilings of the huts were caked with a thick black tar-like substance from the years of burning their unventilated open fires, we truly understood how death, blindness, and respiratory illnesses had resulted.
The solution, of course, is to replace the traditional fires with ventilated and efficient cookstoves. After many meetings with the villagers and much research, a cookstove was designed, and a local blacksmith forged the protoype.
Tibetan Buddhist Charitable Aid (TBCA) is funding the delivery and installation of these clean, ventilated cookstoves.

Here is the good news:

During the Spring of 2014, the first 15 stoves were manufactured, delivered, and installed in the 15 huts that constitute the village of Yabab.

The village of Sherbang was next. In the Summer of 2014, stoves were manufactured, delivered, and installed for all 22 families.

The stoves were received with tears, praise, and gratitude.
Thanks to your support, 37 families will not only be happier this Winter, but also they will be healthier and warmer.

Plans are already underway for 2015. The village of Lurbin has 15 families, and all will receive their stoves this Spring. The village of Tekshe has 20 families, and their stoves will be delivered and installed this Summer.
After these first four villages, 50 remain. The sequence of deliveries will be to increasingly remote villages. In fact, the later deliveries will be to villages that cannot be reaches by road; their stoves will have to be delivered by yak.

We believe that each of these stoves will be life changing.
Each stove costs $150 to manufacture, deliver, and install. 

You can help.

Other TBCA Projects Completed in 2014

In addition to the Clean Cookstove Project, other projects that TBCA funded in 2014 were:

  • completed the construction and furnishing of TBCA's first project: a large addition to the Bodong (Porong Pelmo Choeding) Monastery in Kathmandu, including classrooms, living quarters, dining room, and kitchen
  • equipped the new kitchen at the Bodong monastery school in Kathmandu
  • celebrated the inauguration of the addition to the Bodong (Porong Pelmo Choeding) Monastery in Kathmandu
  • brought medical care to the rural poor
  • provided monthly support for elderly poor in Arunachal Pradesh
  • provided winter jackets for Tibetan teachers
  • contributed to the schooling, room and board of students at the Bodong monastery in Kathmandu
  • provided support, medical care, continuing education and training for young men at the Tibetan refugee camp in Pokhara, Nepal
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