Solar Cooking ( India ) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

# # # 19981211

( Please pardon the length? I found it very thought provoking and inspirational as a window into reality. I learned a lot via "cultural voyeurism" during my tour in Vietnam - ag-based in the war torn 1969-1970 - and continue to look through that "window," as often as I am able, today. Makes one appreciate our -- taken for granted -- life-easing accoutrements we enjoy in our society! )

This, from a gentleman in India, seeking assistance to spread low-tech solar cooking techniques. Can anyone help him out?

This item demonstrates how post-Y2K rebuilding will progress. It also demonstrates how/why government dependencies don't/won't/can't work for any sustainable society. ( MHO! )

( Note: Over the years, having worked with a lot East Indian IT professionals in my career, I can "hear" the rolling English in his writing. Weird! ... )

BTW: So-called "Third World" countries/societies will not see Y2K on their radar screen. Lucky folks, eh?!

Hmmm ... India's starting to look pretty good as a Y2K-getaway ...

Enjoy! ...

Regards, Bob Mangus

( Aside: I've never had problems with access/posting to this list. You must be going through some sort of a bottleneck wherever those of you that have problems are. Check with your ISP? ) # # #

hello everyone,

my first message, sorry for it being so long but thought i should give you the india scenario ???

it all started end august 1998 when i was surfing the net for environment friendly products and came across the Home power magazine website where i read the article on "solar cooking in kenya" and then got on to the sci website and learnt and downloaded a lot of information.

i then emailed /faxed sci, HP magazine and barbara kerr (the expanding world of solar cookers)for information on their respective publications which were received by me especially barbara's book which she gifted to me and is the base of most of my experiments.

I have since become a member of sci and also ordered the books on how to make.. and leaders guide which are really very very good and gives me a lot of confidence to tackle the work shops and training programmes that i hope to start.

I have in the last three months made about ten solar cookers of four different designs in order to understand them and have cooked in them. I made some mistakes but overall got them right and was able to cook in all the designs tried. I tried various dishes like Rice, indian Pullao (rice with vegetables ), indian style vegetables like Cauliflower, cabbage (without a cover), lentils, potatoes, caramel custard, bread and cake. I am not a cook so i messed up a few dishes but i had able support from my wife and 12 year old twin daughters. Most materials for making the solar cookers are easily available in India but there are so many qualities that one has to be careful in selecting the correct quality and that it is safe and non toxic.

i have talked to people especially those who were connected to renewable energy, govt agencies for promoting solar cookers and their manufacturers unfortunately very little is being done to promote solar cookers especially cheap ones . solar cookers started way back in india and we did research and produce a good cooker but since their was a 50% subsidy , every body was mainly interested in getting the subsidy and a number of small scale manufacturers came up who could only sell to one govt renewable agency in each state , so in effect you could only buy from one place in big towns also since you only paid half the cost , everyone concerned behaved as if they were doing you a favour. now the subsidy has been removed ( their is still an interest subsidy for bulk purchasers but the procedure is complicated and not worthwhile), most manufacturers have shut shop and only a handful are trying but these also are making the same model of fibreglass , glass window and mirror costing nearly USd 40/- and a model with electrical back up costing USD 70/- (seems they are going the wrong way) by making expensive cookers and with electric backing(we have lots of power cut).The govt and the manufacturers were targetting the middle class who have access to other energy sources . on paper the govt has sold 430,000 solar cookers but in reality I wonder how many are there. I am sure they are some areas where solar cooking is popular, i suppose i just hav'ent found them as yet. BY no means is my study complete

I know of the Avinashilingam institute , Coimbatore, Auroville, pondicherry and Mt abu projects doing good work.

I have carried out demonstrations for some non profit organisations especially the MOBILE CRECHE which has 150 workers who manage 20 centres around delhi at big construction sites whose worker's children they look after inside the worker colony. After the demo i had discussions and about ten of the main persons promised to experiment with the simplest model at their home. After a few days we hope to hold the first workshop where they will make their own solar box cookers and take them to their respective sites for use. Then they will get the workers to start making their own. of course this will take time and it will have to be monitored but a beginning has been made. The biggest advantage is that the workers come from all over india,from remote and very poor areas, so even if a few take back the solar cooker, it will be a great beginning. The help which comes to my house has made food in my cooker and has actually asked me to give her two models which she can take back next week to her remote village in Bihar ( one of our poorest state) so friday we shall make the cookers with her so that she can try and help others make it in her village.

I think solar cookers is one simple product which can be used and made by any body using local materials and can benefit greatly the user and the world. It is a pity that because it so easy and cheap that people don,t take it seriously. I think there is lot to be done in india and we need to form an organisation,train the trainers, arrange funding however right now it looks like an impossible task but i suppose we have to start somewhere.

In case you know of anybody , active in solar cooking in india, please inform me so that i can collect and coordinate the information at one place.

I need to increase my experience, see different models made by others, visit places where they are being extensively used, translate the information into Hindi or better still into pictures( as we have too many languauges and dialects).The country is too big and it costs too much to travel all over so i plan to work with some people from different areas who can then work independently in their areas with it being monitored. We plan to work with organisations who are already doing good work in environment and with women and children in the remote areas which i have started short listing. These organisations have their hands full and will only be keen if they are guided all the way adn also if some funding can be made available for the project. of course each project will have different ways of working,local materials available, local customs , problems that is where we will have to spend maximum effort .

I have so many questions and doubts which i need to be clarified but will do so in my next email as this is already pretty long.

thank you,

keshav c jaini A-22 green Park, New Delhi -110 016 India keshav [] # # #

-- Robert Mangus (, December 11, 1998


Go to (916)-455-4499 order Teacher's Kit from them. Learn how to solar cook and teach others! Solar Cooker's International is a nonprofit organization helping people around the world. Also just a thought - Consider sending a Solar cooker as a Christmas gift! I sent one to family that homeschools as a gift that also doubles as a science project! Happy cooking! Diana

-- Diana (, December 11, 1998.

Just a personal plug: Solar cookers do work. I built one last year for about $5 and cooked a nice orange chicken dish for my colleagues at work (cooking time 8 a.m. - 12 a.m.). They were astounded. I'm planning on building a more permanent one for the homestead in the spring of '99.

-- Franklin Journier (, December 11, 1998.

Thanks guys. I was wondering about this issue. Just makes common sense to me and saves on wood.


-- Diane J. Squire (, December 11, 1998.

One of the latest three issues of Countryside and Small Stock has a very inexpensive solar cooker (three nested cardboard boxes and other components).

-- Karen Cook (, December 11, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ