Natural Resource Management

65-70% of the Indian population is engaged in agriculture or agro based activity for their livelihood. Though the main occupation is agriculture, majority of the population depends upon rain but the vagaries of monsoon being unpredictable as either the rain plays truant or there is flood or drought and no irrigation facility being available leading to crop failure and insufficient food production which translates into hunger and poverty. Majority of Farmers unable to repay the loans taken for agricultural purpose are driven to suicide (25 farmers commit suicide in Karnataka every month – The Hindu dated 24.08.2012).

Women have to spend long hours for getting potable water and fuel wood. They have to cut the bushes and use it for fire wood, which emits smoke causing undue pollution and affecting their health.

• Around 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung and   crop waste) and coal.

• Over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.

• More than 50% of premature deaths among children under 5 are due to pneumonia caused by particulate matter (soot) inhaled           from household air pollution. (Source: )

Sustainable, clean energy can play a key role in reducing the huge burden of poverty and environmental degradation around the world. In order to maximize the role of clean renewable energy and poverty reduction significant steps must be taken to implement strategies which will allow access to clean energy for the world’s two billion poorest people. Energy cooks the food we eat, it heats our schools, it lights our hospitals, it powers our industries it is central to all human economic activity. Access to basic, clean energy services is essential for sustainable development and poverty eradication, and provides major benefits in the areas of health, literacy and equity. Poverty and energy are inextricably linked. Poverty will not be halved without energy to increase production and income, create jobs and reduce drudgery. The greatest child killer, acute respiratory infections, will not be tackled without dealing with smoke from cooking fires in the home. Children will learn less without light in their homes to allow them to read. Water will not be pumped or treated without energy. The first energy priority of poor people is to meet their household energy needs. Poor people spend up to a third of their income on energy, mostly to cook food.

Around 3 billion people in the developing world use biomass, such as wood, dung and charcoal, for cooking. Due to poverty, many will continue to rely on biomass as their primary energy source for cooking in the foreseeable future. Women, in particular, devote a considerable amount of time to collecting, processing and using traditional fuel for cooking, often spending four to six hours per day and walking up to ten kilo-meters to gather 35 kg of firewood -

{A number of studies point to the fact that women devote a significant amount of time per day to the collection of firewood (Laxmi, Parikh, Karmakar and Dabrase 2003)} time which could be spent on child care, education or income generation. Reducing the amount of firewood or dung used through simple affordable technology such as more efficient stoves is vital.

Sarala Cooking Stoves
Sarala Cooking Stoves are Fuel and cost efficient, cooks fast, no smoke, thus saves time and energy. The stoves are designed by TIDE (Technology Informatics Design Endeavour), a technical, state level organization providing training to many women in construction of stoves. Many of the trained women have taken this as an occupation and Mrs. Lalitha Bhai is one among them.

She has constructed over 26,000 stove in Karnataka and she is known as “Oleyamma” (Woman of stoves). She has constructed 975 stoves for KROSS at our partner organizations throughout Karnataka.

The use of stoves has reduced the consumption of fire wood thus reduced the smoke and time to collect fire wood, this has enhanced healthy atmosphere for women while cooking food and saves a lot of time which is now used for other income generating activities and looking after kids in their education.

Vermin Compost
• Dependency on chemical fertilizer has reduced and spending of large amount of money on chemical fertilizers is saved
• Some women have started this as Income Generation Activity and earn a decent income by selling the compost.
• People have experienced the adverse impact of chemical fertilizers and are now opting for environment friendly manure.
• People are trying new and innovative methods of cultivation using less chemical fertilizers and pesticidesand opting for              environment friendly techniques.
• The Government of Karnataka is also providing subsidies for Construction of Vermin Compost tanks.

Solar Lanterns and Solar Cookers
As the development activities are in full swing there is more and more need for electricity (energy) as people have started to use new gadgets and dependency on electricity has increased. In summer the cities are not getting enough electricity supply and the villages are worst hit and get only between 8 to 12 hours of electricity. Even the Govt. cannot cater to the needs of people. The electricity charges are also increasing day by day and poor people cannot afford to pay for power and live in darkness.

Solar Lanterns and Cookers play a vital role in removing darkness and hunger from poor people’s lives. It is cost effective and zero maintenance. The batteries of the lanterns can be charged through sunlight. Food can be prepared in sun without using any other fuels

KROSS is helping these poor families to get Solar Lanterns and Solar Cookers and has so far distributed 230 solar cookers and 1000 Lanterns to the beneficiaries through its partner organizations. Solar Lanterns have replaced the traditional electric bulbs and tubes saving on their electricity bills and consuming less electricity.

• People are aware of the Environmental Issues and trying to do their best to safeguard the environment.
• Solar cookers have taken away the smoke and related diseases from women’s lives, usage of firewood; time consumed to get          firewood is saved and getting hygienically cooked food without spending any money on energy. Next