Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat [Govt. Schemes for UPSC] - Topic of the Day

LPG Panchayat is a government scheme wherein beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) can interact with each other and with other officials and local government workers and share experiences. Government schemes are very important for the UPSC exam.

Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat:- Download PDF Here

LPG Panchayat

Under the PMUY, LPG connections are given to families below the poverty line. The LPG Panchayat is a platform where these beneficiaries can interact with each other, share experiences and promote mutual learning.

  • It is an opportunity for LPG consumers to interact with all the stakeholders of the LPG ecosystem such as Oil Marketing Company (OMC) officials, mechanics, distributors, delivery men, etc.
  • Consumers can also interact with each other and get their doubts and apprehensions cleared.
  • Each LPG Panchayat aims to bring together 100 consumers near their place of residence to talk about sustainable and safe usage of LPG (liquid petroleum gas).
  • It is also a forum to discuss the benefits of LPG, and also understand the linkage between the use of clean fuel for cooking and women empowerment.

Key Themes to be addressed by LPG Panchayats

Health

  • As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, indoor air pollution causes 5 lakh premature deaths in India each year.  
  • It is the second biggest killer in the country after high blood pressure. 
  • Using the traditional stoves in rooms with virtually no ventilation can cause serious health issues for the woman who cooks and her children as well. 
  • The health hazards caused by this pollution include pneumonia, adverse birth outcomes in kids, TB, cataracts, heart disease, chronic lung disease, etc.
  • Additional health effects are also recorded because of the carrying over long distances of firewood.
  • So, LPG connections can prevent health issues for women and their families as well.

Economic Costs

  • Using LPG stoves dramatically reduces the time spent for cooking and allied activities (like carrying and chopping firewood).
  • All these activities invariably fall on the shoulders of women and even young girls.
  • Many compromise going to school because of this. 
  • Having LPG connections will thus help many girls go to school.
  • It also reduces the health-related expenditure incurred by families.

Safety 

  • The safe usage of LPG is also important. It entails responsible and informed use of the system.
  • To avoid untoward incidents, each beneficiary is given a safety card that enumerates the Do’s and Dont’s of LPG usage.
  • Helpline numbers are also provided for the consumers to call in case of leakage or any other related emergency.

Environment

  • Biomass cooking leads to a lot of environmental degradation.
    • It contributes to deforestation.
  • Apart from that, the home environment also becomes highly polluted because of the smoke and soot produced.
  • LPG is relatively a cheap cooking fuel.

Empowerment

  • The scheme enables the empowerment of women in many ways.
  • Women are able to be free from drudgery in the kitchen. LPG connections reduce cooking time, and frees a woman to spend more time with family and children.
  • This also means many girls will not need to miss school, which translates into better economic prospects in the future.
  • The scheme also improves the health of women.
  • LPG Panchayats provide an opportunity for women to learn from each other, and also be inspired to look beyond the four walls of her home.
    • With the help of NGOs, ASHA workers, SHGs, and other local women leaders, they can even start their own small-scale businesses.

Participants in LPG Panchayat

Apart from the beneficiaries of the PMUY, the other participants include:

  1. Young girls (they can accelerate the switch to LPG in the household)
  2. One local woman leader (doctor/nurse/health worker/teacher/police person/business woman/political or social activist/advocate/artist)
  3. Local ASHA workers (who are in touch with the community)
  4. Anganwadi workers
  5. Primary school teachers/Mid-day meal coordinators
  6. NRLM community mobilisers
  7. Women Panchayat members and community leaders

Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat:- Download PDF Here

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