During the 97th graduation ceremony on 9th November 2009 at Barli Development Institute for Rural Women 30 Alsol 1.4 parabolic solar cookers were handed over to 30 outgoing graduates. These solar cookers are taken to their homes by the graduates by choice after paying 1000 rupees and taking 4 days training in maintaining and using it. These Alsol I.4 solar cookers have been gifted to the Barli Institute by the Terra Foundation based in Barcelona Spain for the benefit of Barli's outgoing village and rural young women graduates.
Unfortunately the 4 day cooking training was a real washout owing to the effects of cyclonic storm 'Phyan' which narrowly missed the city of Mumbai on 11th November, resulting in widespread heavy rainfall over the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh for more than one week.
The training started inside by showing them Imma Seifert's video on how to maintain, care for, cook, bake, fry and do all the many other thing the cooker can be used for, this was a really good beginning, the young women could see the different items being cooked, they would also see the heat retaining baskets in use, as it was raining outside time could be taken to answer their many questions. The Spanish version of this video film can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/v/buSULoF9kdQ&hl=es.
For the 2 years a team from the Institute goes out to the
villages and assembles the the solar cookers. earlier the graduates were trained
to assemble the cookers at the Institute as part of the training, this proved
difficult as it takes 2 days to train her and when she goes to the village she
has to only assemble one solar cooker, then in the village the untrained male
members of the family interfere and mistakes are often made.
As the weather was not suitable to give training in cooking and several trainees taking solar cooker were from distant states of Bihar, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, is is difficult to send the barli team so far. Training was given in assembling the cookers to these trainees. the others would also learn how to maintain the cooker and use it safely.
It was still raining when the graduates and Institute team to
assemble reluctantly left the campus not knowing what the situation would be
like in the villages. The team comprised of Sakeram Dawer, who has 10 years
experience of working with parabolic solar cookers including manufacturing
Scheffler reflectors at Barli, and two volunteers Basile Roux from Basel
Switzerland and Kahlil Guilbaud from Miami USA, both have been volunteering at
the institute for several months and experienced in working with the solar
Below are some pictures of of the Barli Graduates and family members with their solar cookers at the respective homes in the villages.
Below are some pictures with the solar cookers in the villages, graduates and their family members with assembly team of Barli volunteers and staff.
On returning from the villages Volunteer Basile Roux Wrote:
"It was a fascinating experience of rural India.
We went for three days in the countryside to help install solar cookers in approximately ten different villages.
We slept on site in the houses of the villagers, and left in the morning at around 7 a.m. for the next village.
We were riding a motorcycle and the landscape was gorgeous.
It was very different from urban India: no pollution, hardly any mosquito, and the villagers proved even more curious about foreigners than people from the cities.
It was really a great experience, not very comfortable, but hugely interesting."
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