The Ujjwala Yojana, providing LPG connections to below poverty line (BPL) households, is a strong step towards women empowerment, President Ram Nath Kovind said here on Tuesday.
At a ‘LPG Panchayat' hosted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, he said that there are serious health risks associated with cooking on an open fire with traditional fuels like wood, dung cakes etc.
The Ujjwala scheme targets providing five crore LPG connections to BPL households.
According to WHO estimates, about five lakh deaths in India alone due to unclean cooking fuels. Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children.
The LPG Panchayat was organised by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas with an aim to provide a platform for LPG consumers to interact with each other, promote mutual learning and share experiences.
The Ministry intends to conduct one lakh such panchayats across India before March 31, 2019.
Each LPG Panchayat has about 100 LPG customers coming together, near their living areas, to discuss safe and sustainable usage of LPG, its benefits and the link between clean fuel for cooking and women's empowerment.