Yiting Wang, MESc

2013 TRI Fellow in India

The Revolution from the Kitchen: Women’s Empowerment and Clean Cookstoves in the Indian Western Himalaya

his past summer I traveled to Kullu, Himachal Pradesh in Northwestern India to conduct my master’s thesis research with a local non-governmental organization called Jagriti. I studied the process and adoption patterns of the NGO’s program to disseminate liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stoves to rural women living in the mountainous Kullu Valley. In particular, I focused on the question of what the characteristics were for households who removed their traditional mud chulla stoves – deemed smoky and inefficient by the development world – and for those who adopted the LPG stove and had high and low usage of it. With the help of the NGO director and my adviser, we identified a few factors that could have influenced people’s stove choices, including the commercialization of another type of improved biomass cookstoves, family size, family cash income (both male and female members), household’s access to forest, urban markets and gas delivery services, the ongoing agrarian economic transformations in both the countryside and urban centers that has been shaping the households’ socio-economic conditions, as well as caste politics and other religious practices.  


Negotiating Access: The Social Processes of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) Cookstove Dissemination Intervention in Himachal Pradesh, India