Dharma Life Foundation
More than 90% of Indian households use traditional mud cookstoves that are fuelled by firewood and other biomass inputs for their daily cooking purposes. These cookstoves are known to cause hazardous levels of indoor air pollution. The inefficient combustion of bio-fuel causes high emissions of greenhouse gases. According to a study by WHO in 2009, around 480,000 Indians are dying prematurely due to indoor air pollution each year. These traditional methods of using bio-fuel further contributes to the depletion of our natural resources as well, making the propagation of clean cookstoves in India is a necessity.

While both government bodies and non-governmental organisations have made significant efforts at promoting clean cooking practices through the use of clean cookstoves such as Induction Cooktops and Improved Cookstoves, there have been many challenges posed to transitioning households from the use of traditional biomass cookstoves.

While there are many factors such as product performance, cleaner fuel availability, and pricing that can be attributed to the continued use of inefficient traditional cookstove and slow adoption of clean cookstove alternatives, the need for behaviour change has been identified as one of the most significant factor.

The following are the most common remarks one gets to hear in the early efforts made by households to switch to clean cooking alternatives:

"It overcooked my rice."

"The chapatis were not as good as my regular chapatis."

"My family did not like the taste of food prepared on this."

"I cannot cook my regular dishes on this."

In light of these barriers, Dharma Chef was envisioned as a promotional campaign to associate positive messages to the transition from traditional cooktstoves to clean cooking products. Further, it also intended to reach out to the electrified masses of rural India and aimed to introduce them to induction cooktops as a clean cooking alternative.

In doing so, the Dharma Chef campaign has not only spread awareness of clean cooking solutions, but also improved adoption and usage.

The campaign is targeted to achieve the following 3 objectives:

Cause Awareness

  • Awareness around the cause of Indoor Air Pollution through offline and technology enabled communication campaigns
  • Behavior change intervention including elements like:
    1. Nukkad Natak
    2. Mobile Campaigns
    3. Influencer Marketing

Consumer Engagement

  • Product demonstrations at village level
  • Mobile kitchen campaigns in village for enhanced user experience
  • Village level cooking competitions designed to create excitement while addressing common barriers like unfamiliarity of cooking traditional food


  • District and state level cooking competitions
  • Recipe-a-day program to track and promote usage

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