In India, around 10 crore households out of more than 24 crore households lack LPG connections and so use coal, firewood, cow dung cakes and other such fuels as primary fuels for cooking. The emission from these are extremely harmful for the human body. To save the women and children from the health risk the PMUY scheme was released.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was launched on 1st May 2016, by honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. The scheme aims at providing safe cooking fuel- LPG. 5 crore LPG connections will be provided to the families belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) with a financial support which is an interest free loan for each connection, for the purchase of gas stove and refill to be provided in next 3 years. The government would bare a cost of 1600 per connection for the purchase of other support items for LPG connection such as a cylinder, regulator, safety hose, booklet, etc.
According to report of WHO, smoke generation from the burning of unclean fuel for cooking such as wood, coal, cow dung cakes, and other such unclean fuel is equally toxic to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour. Inhalation of such unclean fuel smoke affects the health adversely. WHO estimates 5 lakh deaths in India take place because of inhalation of such toxic smoke from household pollution causing several pulmonary, heart and lung diseases to the women and children.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was formulated keeping in mind the health of the women and children and to keep them away from the toil of collection firewood from unsafe areas. This scheme also took to the empowerment of women, especially the women in rural areas, by providing LPG connections in the name of the women of the household. An amount of Rs 8000 crore was allocated for this scheme, for The BPL families identified on the basis of the Socio-Economic Caste Census Data.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana not only empowers the women of the rural areas and safeguard the health of women and children, but also provides business opportunity of at least Rs 10000 by providing employment to around 1 lakh people. It provided a boost in the ‘Make in India’ project as all the gas stoves, LPG cylinders, gas hose and regulators are manufactured domestically for the implementation and fulfilment of this scheme.
714 districts have been covered under this scheme an 7,19,06,812 PMUY connections have been released, as per the records of ‘pmuy.gov.in’, the official website of government of India for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. Against the target of 15 million for the first year of launch, 22 million connections were provided. 30 million connections were provided by 23rd October 2017. 44% of these connections were provided to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes families. In 2018 included 80 million poor households to provide them with LPG connections. An increase of 56% in 2019 was achieved as compared to 2014. This scheme provided the women for prevention against respiratory diseases because of unclean cooking fuel and also provided for the upliftment of social status of women by making it mandatory to take LPG connection on the name of the women of the family.