Four out of every five rural and one out of every five urban households primarily depend on direct burning of solid biomass fuel like fuel wood, crop residue and cattle dung in traditional mud stove/ three stone fire for cooking.
Such traditional cooking practice is characterized by incomplete combustion of biomass fuels resulting in emission of toxic smoke. Women (and accompanying children) who get exposed to this smoke every day during cooking food in a mud stove, particularly in poorly ventilated kitchens, face increased risk of pneumonia, respiratory diseases, etc. Kitchen smoke is responsible for half a million premature deaths in India annually. The toxic smoke also contains climate change agents like carbon monoxide and black carbon. Such traditional mud stoves also have low thermal efficiency (~15%)that results in high fuel consumption (~1 kg/person/day of firewood) thereby contributing to deforestation in some areas.