India is home to more than 24 Crore households out of which about 10 Crore households are still deprived of LPG as cooking fuel and have to rely on firewood, coal, dung, cakes etc. as primary source of cooking. The smoke from burning such fuels causes alarming household pollution and adversely affects the health of Women & children causing several respiratory diseases/ disorders. As per a WHO report, smoke inhaled by women from unclean fuel is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour. In addition, women and children have to go through the drudgery of collecting firewood.Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women & children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
PMUY was launched on May 1st, 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. Under this scheme, 5 Cr LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with a support of Rs.1600 per connection in the next 3 years. Ensuring women’s empowerment, especially in rural India, the connections will be issued in the name of women of the households. Rs. 8000 Cr. has been allocated towards the implementation of the scheme. Identification of the BPL families will be done through Socio Economic Caste Census Data.
Objectives of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
Implementation of PM Ujjwala Yojana
The scheme will be implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. This is first time in the history that Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is implementing such an enormous welfare scheme which will benefit Crores of women belonging to the poorest households.
LPG panchayats, launched in 2017, help in bringing about this change in cooking behaviour in rural areas. According to the design, LPG panchayats bring together about 100 LPG customers on a semi-structured interactive platform to discuss safe and sustainable usage of LPG, its benefits and the linkage between clean fuel for cooking and women’s empowerment. Every LPG panchayat is expected to share the experience of early local adopters of clean fuel, an exercise on comparing the costs of alternative biomass fuels, safety demonstration and feedback on services. An LPG worker is not just providing an energy service. She has become a social change agent.
Expansion of the beneficiaries
Government has extended PM Ujjwala Yojana of providing free cooking gas (LPG) connections to all poor households. While previously the connections were given based on the 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC), the list was later expanded to include providing free cooking gas connection to all SC/ST households, forest dwellers, most backward classes, inhabitants of islands, nomadic tribes, tea estates and beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and Antyodaya Yojana.
Success of the PMUY