Intentional forest fires are not the only striking reality in the region. There is a sheer lack of any modern appropriate technologies to assist the village folk to conversing their natural resources. Wood is the primary source of energy villagers use for cooking and for warmth and the stoves used here are extremely polluting and inefficient. These traditional stoves require large quantities of wood which produces lethally harmful smoke which, in the best case, is released outside, otherwise is simply standing inside the room before gradually seeping through the slates of the roof.
In all the cases the consumption of wood is such that it promotes deforestation, and the air pollution create severe pulmonary diseases. These 2 problems needed to be addressed. So we decided to try developing cleaner wood stoves and a solar cooker. With the help of interns, it took about 3 years and the development of 7 prototypes to create 3 models of clean and appropriate wood stove and 1 solar cooker.The first prototype was developed in 2015 with Vincent, a French intern who was with Himalayan Ecotourism for a couple of months.
You can read about the Vincent’s experience here : Development of a clean wood stove for the Himalayan people
Since then, Vivek, a local fabricator and owner of a steel processing workshop, was put the in-charge of all our R&D projects. Other interns have joined the project, for both field investigations and making and testing the successive prototypes.
Later on, Jayesh, an engineer in electronics, has joined us in helping generate electricity with the energy of stove. Together and with some other friends we established Symbioz to continue with the research and make the final products available in the market.
We ran a crowdfunding campaign for completing the R&D.
- Demo of our best wood stove – The Rohtang stove
- Symbioz – Clean wood Stove for the Himalayas
- Zero Pollution Stove
The stove is patented but the project is not complete as our products are not available in the market yet. Only a few of them have been used by some villagers for try.
From the feedback of the villagers we understood that we still need to make the stove somehow more user-friendly. The stove was given to 2 professors of IIT Mandi to continue the R&D with a group of students. Very unfortunately, it appears that their ultimate goal was not to deliver a final product to help the local villagers, but to publish some papers to help themselves. The story of Symbioz has been totally re-invented and our latest prototype (the Rohtang stove) had become the first prototype of these 2 professors of IIT Mandi.
Because of our focus on the Stop Forest Fires and of the extremely disappointing attitude of the professor at IIT Mandi, the project is on hold.
It will start again as soon as we can find motivated interns with an engineering background capable of assisting us with the same.