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Project Update

Overview:

There are 2 distinct projects emerging from the development of rocket stove technology in India.

The social enterprise Himalayan Rocket Stove is progressing as planned and indications for it to scale into a successful venture are looking very promising. Our goal of saving 1 millions trees by 2025 still stands.

The non-profit project Smokeless Cookstove Revolution has emerged as a standout parallel offshoot of the work with the potential to save millions of lives over the coming years.

More about both of these projects below…

1. As mentioned last month, the Smokeless Cookstove Revolution is taking off as a non-profit venture aimed at education and training programs designed to empower villagers to make their own smokeless rocket stoves with our designs that cost almost nothing to implement. I will quickly cover the key points of this project here:

  • The Chuffed fundraising campaign has almost reached its humble goal of $1000 to kick-start the workshop process. Link to that campaign here: https://www.chuffed.org/project/smokeless-cookstove-revolution
  • The first workshop was run at a university in Chandigarh with great success, attracting the attention of approximately 20 students per day as well as faculty. I was not there as I had already returned to Australia, leaving this in the capable hands of Tanzin. Reports from attendees have been nothing less than rave reviews. People want this technology!
  • Numerous requests for additional workshops are now coming in from various parts of India and Nepal.
  • An events and fundraising coordinator has been appointed to manage the details of this project. Nitisha attended the training in Chandigarh and is based in Mumbai with great exposure to potential funders and NGO’s. We are currently looking for funders so as to scale this up. Demand is growing rapidly.
  • We have 2 trainers ready to go and will soon have more. The next workshops being scheduled are Dharwad (near Goa), then 2 in Nepal followed by Rajasthan.
  • Volunteers who are interested to help us scale this project up would be great! (contact me, email below)

2. The Himalayan Rocket Stove project is also going very well, with stoves being made under contract by a factory at Baddi, near Chandigarh. The first batch of 25 due to be ready this week. These stoves will be dispersed to local schools, nunneries and poor families, with some sample units being sold to test the retail market.

3. As a result of 2 recent blog news stories about the Himalayan Rocket Stoves, I was invited to give a talk at a TEDx event in India. The TEDx event is being held at IIM (Institute of Indian Management) Ranchi on Feb 12, so hopefully there will be a YouTube link I will be able to share with you next update.

4. Links to recent Indian news stories about the project here:

5. While I am in India through the month of February, I will use the opportunity to inspect the production line in Baddi, complete the company set up process and of course talk to lots of people about rocket stoves.

6. I will also fly up to Leh, Ladakh to inspect the units that are in the field for winter testing. It will be interested to see for myself how they are working in the middle of winter and report on any issues. The local coordinator for the project in Leh (Chozang) is reporting that his own unit is keeping his living room at a very toasty 25C while temps outside are well below minus 10C.

7. There were some early reports of smokiness on lighting some of the stoves, which we have a fix for and which is being implemented into the new units. The stoves where we have already implemented this fix are working well.

8. The Himalayan Rocket Stove project is now looking for equity investors to help it scale to the next stage. Our goal is to make and sell 1000 stoves for the coming winter season starting September 2017, and then 3000 units the following year. If you are interested in being involved in an incredibly promising social venture, contact me on: russell@himalayanrocketstove.com  A detailed business plan is available on request.

Follow up with the Smokeless Cookstove Revolution here!

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