Divya Ravi

Project title: Addressing Household Air Pollution In Urban Shantytowns

Degree: MPH | Program: Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) | Project type: Practicum
Completed in: 2015 | Faculty advisor: Charles D. (Chuck) Treser


Despite rapid economic progress, millions of lives in developing countries remain threatened by preventable health challenges resulting from poor environmental quality. Unprecedented rural-urban migration has left several cities in countries like India with pockets of densely populated regions lacking basic infrastructure. Individuals in these regions are often plagued with a large burden of air and water borne illnesses. Human behavior contributes significantly towards environmental quality which in turn influences disease occurrence and outcome. A vast majority of Indians still use biomass fuels like firewood, farm waste and kerosene to meet their daily household needs. These inefficient sources of energy are significant causes of air pollution and increase morbidity from non-communicable diseases like asthma, cataract, and cardiovascular disease. The kitchen, an integral part of most households, serves an opportunity to address some of these health challenges at the individual and community level. PATH is building on its previous health initiatives to plan and implement a pilot intervention project that will provide a compact household kit that addresses the issue of indoor air quality in lower socio-economic households in urban shantytowns of Mumbai. The project is aimed at creating value for bottom of the pyramid (BOP) households, while generating positive health and environmental impact, with the provision of smart kitchen kits to peri-urban dwellers. The student practicum project focused on understanding this burden of household air pollution in urban India and perform literature review on fuel usage pattern to refine the components of the proposed kit.