Berhampur, October 18 (LocalWire): At least two of the three Nobel Prize winners for the Economics this year have their connection with the rural villages in Odisha’s Ganjam and Gajapati districts.
Abhijit Banarjee and his French-USA origin wife Esther Duflo had visited the two southern Odisha districts for research on different social aspects like health, sanitation and drinking water.
“Duflo had visited the state at least five times for her research work on the ‘experimental approach to alleviating global poverty’ for which she shared the prestigious award with her Indian-origin husband and Michael Kremer,” founder of the NGO Gram Vikas Joe Madiath said.
“During 2006, she along with her team had visited at least 44 villages, mostly the tribal-dominated ones in these two districts to undertake a survey on the cooking habit of the people and motivate them to undertake smokeless chulha,” he said
After conducting their survey, Duflo of Massachusetts Institute of Technology along with Michel Greenstone and Rema Hanna had published a research article on ‘Cooking Stoves, Indoor Air Pollution, and Respiratory Health in Rural Orissa’ in the 9 August 2008 edition of the Economic and Political Weekly.
In her study, the Noble laureate had pointed out that the use of traditional fuels for cooking was considered as the major risk factor for lung cancer, as well as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
The traditional solid fuels such as cow dung, crop residue, and firewoods were used by poor people in rural areas to meet their cooking needs.
The burning of solid fuels indoors in open fires or traditional cooking stoves results in high levels of toxic pollutants in the kitchen area.
“Several people in our operation villages had adopted the smokeless chulha after she had educated the tribal women about its benefit,” a Gram Vikas programme coordinator Sarat Mohanty said.
She also inspected the water and satiation programmes undertaken by the NGO.