Update from India, May 2020 

"Social distancing is a privilege.
It means you live in a house large enough to practice it.

Hand washing is a privilege.
It means you have access to running water.

Hand sanitizers are a privilege.
It means you have money to buy them.

Lockdowns are a privilege.
It means you can afford to be at home."

anonymous quote from a doctor in India

24 Hour Stay at Home Order in India

Now confined to tiny spaces, extended families with children home from school and parents home from work, cooking for more hours per day than ever experienced before, all while emitting toxic levels of smoke daily, the need for new stoves is urgent. 

After 2 months in India this year, cramming every possible moment with preparations for what is needed next, Ann welcomes Wendy, one of our board members, to continue support for the installation team in Kodaikanal, India.

Ann Peck, Executive Director

Wendy Riber, KHI Board Member, on the Ground in India, March 2020
Wendy Riber

Wendy and her husband Kris have spent a lifetime teaching at international schools in India and Pakistan. Now retired, they return to Kodaikanal every year to work with the smokeless stove project.

Wendy (left) visits a new stove installation in Perumalmalai with a pregnant young mother and her 18-month-old daughter. The new stove arrives just in time before the baby is born, and we loop back to make sure it is working properly.

Thanks to Ann, Selvam and Sheela, I was able to visit a school we partner with, a local Montessori school in Perumalmalai, just down the mountain from Kodai. "This school provides underprivileged children from local villages with education and development support and takes care of the children's basic needs for nutrition, shoes and a uniform" (Montessori School Sponsorship information pamphlet).

Children learn about smokeless stoves.

I absolutely loved visiting the school with Sheela and teaching the children an original song, titled "Smoke Out!", about smokeless stoves in their local language, Tamil. The children were motivated, interested, had so much fun learning about the importance of clean air.

Children learning the song "Smoke Out!"

I was also invited to teach the older children, ages 7 to 14, during their after school outreach program. When these children tell their parents about the new smokeless stove (and share their new song!), Selvam is contacted and the process of installation begins for a new family.

Selvam delivering chimney pipes for the next day's installation in Perumalmalai.
On two trips in the newly purchased KHI van, we visited a few recent installation sites in Perumalmalai. Sheela explains with a smile that in the village, thirty stoves have already been installed and "they want more!"
Both Ann and Wendy have returned to the U.S. and talk weekly by phone with our installation team to strategize for the next phase of the COVID pandemic. When stay at home protocols are relaxed we are ready to install more stoves. We must strategize ways to safely enter villages and adapt our health educational talks with the local women to include the "new norm". Protecting families in this complicated crisis is our mission. It's not over. ~Ann

"Stitches of Love" knitting group from Laconia, NH, USA continue to knit beautiful sweaters and caps for children in India. You can see here this young boy is tickled pink with his new sweater.

Each smokeless stove installation costs $35 (US)
Kids Health India, Inc. is a U.S. nonprofit that supports the installation of improved cookstoves for low-income families in southern India to alleviate the suffering caused by daily inhalation of toxic smoke from cooking fires. To learn more or get involved visit our website:

607 stoves installed
benefiting 2,480 people
Samakadu child, age 9, hauls rocks for his new cookstove.
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Copyright © 2020 Kids Health India, All rights reserved.

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