Zgodba o Biočarju – The story of TLUD Biochar stove 11.10.12

* scroll down for the same text in English

BIOČAR, DIREKTORICA IZ INDIJE IN PREBIVALCI SUNDARBANSA

Na oni strani sveta, v Sundarbansu v Indiji, prav zdaj poteka velik projekt podjetja Servals iz Chennaia, ki izdeluje kuhalnike za kuhanje in pridelavo biooglja. Vsaj 1000 gospodinjstvom bodo za subvencionirano plačilo razdelili te kuhalnike in jih naučili, kako si lahko z njimi olajšajo življenje, ki je daleč od našega razvajenega udobja, lažnega občutka svobode in suženjstva, v katerega smo ujeti v potrošniško usmerjeni družbi.

“Pot” v Sundarbans.
Vse fotografije (razen zadnje) so avtorsko delo Sujathe Srinivasan.

Kje sploh je Sundarbans? Sundarbans je naravni park na meji Indije in Bangladeša z gozdovi mangrove in največji naravni rezervat za ogrožene bengalske tigre, ki vsako leto pospravijo kar nekaj domačinov. Prebivalci so večinoma nepismeni. Področje je po naših merilih zaostalo, saj tudi elektrike nimajo. Sujatha Srinivasan, direktorica podjetja Servals, ki proizvaja TLUD Biochar stoves Champion (za slovenske kupce sem jim dala nam bližje ime Biočar, kuhalnik za kuhanje in izdelavo biooglja), mi je letos poleti opisala svoj projekt in me prosila, če lahko pomagam s pripravo navodil za uporabo kuhalnika. Ker so uporabniki nepismeni, bi moral biti v slikah. Z veseljem sem se lotila dela, a še preden sem naredila kaj konkretnega, dobila sporočilo – ni treba, Sundarbanci obvladajo kuhalnik brez navodil. Zakaj? Ker se v svojem življenju pač ne morejo zanašati na navodila, ampak na svojo pamet in iznajdljivost. Za koliko sodobnih zahodnjakov bi to lahko z gotovostjo trdili? Kaj bi se zgodilo, če bi nam vzeli vsa navodila in bi bili odvisni le od svoje iznajdljivosti? Hm, bi bilo zanimivo poskusit :)

Zadovoljstvo uporabnikov so merili z anketo in dobili zelo pozitivne rezultate.

Zgoraj: izjave uporabnikov Biočarja.
Prevod: prihrani stroške goriva, je priročen, lahko kuham v hiši, kot bi kuhala na plinu,
porabim manj goriva (do 50 % manj), manj je dima, skuham hitreje, med kuhanjem ni treba nadzirati plamena, medtem, ko kuham, lahko naredim še kaj drugega.

Zgoraj: grafični prikaz zadovoljstva uporabnikov Biočarja
Razlaga grafov
Stolpci na levi: splošno zadovoljstvo s kuhalnikom;
Stolpci na sredini: ali ga bodo še uporabljali;
Stolpci na desni: ali bi ga priporočili drugim.

In biooglje? Kako so ga sprejeli? So vedeli, kaj početi z njim? Sujatha mi je odpisala – ne, sprva ne. A jim je bilo vsem po vrsti tako zelo všeč, da so ga, čeprav niso vedeli, kaj bi z njim počeli, shranili.

Priprava kosila na novem kuhalniku.

Easy kot pasulj :)

Kakšno vezo ima Sundarbans s Slovenijo? Kuhalnike Biočar seveda. Isti izdelek ljudem, ki so 7000 km daleč narazen, ne pomeni istega – prebivalcem Sundarbansa predstavlja predvsem lažjo in hitrejšo pripravo hrane, večji izkoristek goriva, zaradi česar porabijo manj časa za nabiranje dračja in podobnega (tudi otroci – več verjetnosti je, da bodo imeli čas iti v šolo), manj zakajenih kuhinj in vdihnjenih saj, ki poškodujejo pljuča predvsem mamam in njihovim otrokom. Zelo majhen odstotek ljudi živi tako, kot mi. Velik del človeštva še vedno kuha na odprtem ognju in vsakodnevno nabira karkoli uporabnega za gorivo. Saje in dim z odprtih kurišč poškodujeta njihova pljuča. Na leto zaradi tega umre 1,5 do 2 milijona ljudi (podatki so različni v različnih virih).

In kaj pomeni kuhalnik Biočar za Slovence? Kuhalnik, ki dela na katerokoli suho biomaso, kjerkoli in kadarkoli, tudi ko ni plina ali elektrike, tudi ko smo daleč od doma. V njem pa po kuhanju ostane biooglje, ki ga zdrobimo, pomešamo s kompostom in dozorelega porabimo za ekološko vrtnarjenje.

Uporaba biooglja zmanjšuje ogljični odtis.
Znak na zgodnji sliki imajo le izdelki, za katere velja, da zmanjšujejo uporabnikov ogljični odtis.
Ta znak imajo kuhalniki Biočar, pa tudi obogateno biooglje in kompost z bioogljem GroChar.

Vedno znova sem navdušena, ko kuhalniki pripotujejo z ladjo v koprsko pristanišče, potem pa s kombijem k meni domov. Vedno znova si med njihovim potovanjem predstavljam, kje je ladja, kaj se dogaja. In ko pridejo k meni domov, manjši oranžni različici bengalskih tigrov Mike in Jack temeljito in z vseh strani prevohata paket – kaj vse jima njuna nosova povesta, žal ne morem izvedeti. Iz njunih pogledov in zavzetosti pa lahko sklepam, da so te zgodbe zelo zelo zelo zanimive …

The Same Text In English:

TLUD BIOCHAR STOVE, A DIRECTOR FROM INDIA AND PEOPLE FROM SUNDARBANS

At the other side of the world, in Sundarbans in India, a large project of company Servals from Chennai is in progress just now. Servals is the producer of TLUD Biochar stove Champion. They will distribute these cookers to 1000 families for a subsidized amount and teach them how they can make their life easier by cooking on them.

The “road” to Sundarbans.
All the photographies and pictures (except the last one) are copyrigh of Mrs. Sujatha Srinivasan.

Where is Sundarbans? Sundarbans is the natural park in India and Bangladesh with forests of mangrove and the largest reserve for endangered bengal tiger. Inhabitants are mostly illiterate. The region is undeveloped. Mrs. Sujatha Srinivasan, director of company Servals, that produces TLUD Biochar stove Champion (I named it Biočar, the stove for cooking and making biochar, for my buyers here in Slovenia and Europe), mailed me some info about their project at the beginning of summer. She wanted to know if I could help with preparing the user’s guide. Because users are illiterate, it would have to be in pictures. I undertook work happily, but before I could make something concrete, got a message – you don’t have to, Sundarbans were able to use the stove without any instructions. How come? Because they can’t just count on instructions in their life, but on their intellect and ingenuity. How many contemporary westerners could you claim this with certainty for? What would happen if we would loose all of the instructions and would depend only upon our ingenuity? Hmm, it would be an interesting experiment :)

The Servals measured out satisfaction of users with survey and got very positive results.
Here are some of the results:

And what about biochar, that is left in Biochar stove when cooking is over? Did they know, what to do with it? Sujatha answered my questions: “No, at least not at first. But all of them liked biochar so much, that they kept it although they were not sure what to do with it …”

Preparing a meal on the new stove.

As easy as pie :)

And what connection has Sundarbans with Slovenia? Biočar, of course. The same product doesn`t have the same meaning to people who live 7000 km apart – to the Sundarbans inhabitants the TLUD Biochar stove offers quicker preparing of food, less fuel needed, less time for gathering the brushwood and other dry biomass. Children (the gathering of dry biomass is often their job) will have more time to learn and go to school. There will be fewer kitchens filled with smoke and fewer mothers and their children will have their lungs damaged by smoke. Only a tiny percent of people live like we in the western world do. A much larger part of humankind still prepares food on open fire and they are gathering anything useful for fuel daily. Smoke from open fires hurt their lungs. It is estimated that 1.5 to 2 million people die every year because of that (data are different in different sources).

And what does Biočar mean to Slovenes and other Europeans? It is a stove, that works on any dry biomass, anywhere and at any time, when gas or electricity isn’t available, and when we are far of home. And while we cook on it there is biochar left in Biočar, which we crush, stir with compost and use to boost the soils fertility – to grow healthy organic vegetables and fruits in our gardens.

Using biochar reduces our carbon footprint.
Only products that are reducing user’s carbon footprint may have this sign.
The TLUD Biochar stove and GroChar products are marked with this sign.

I like to imagine where is the ship sailing and what is happening on board while the stoves are travelling from India to Slovenia. I am always thrilled when the stoves arrive to Koper, the Slovenian port and then by a van to my home. And when they finally arrive to my front yard, my two smaller orange versions of bengal tigers, Mike and Jack, carefully examine the package from all sides. I cannot understand what their noses are telling them, but I can tell by their looks and the way they are focused that the stories are very very very interesting …

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2 thoughts on “Zgodba o Biočarju – The story of TLUD Biochar stove 11.10.12

  1. Bojca, What a great post about the project. Thank you from all of us at Servals. !! loved your question about what would happen to the world if there were no instructions! Nice thought!

    How true – that the same product doesnt hold the same meaning to different people. The stoves for the poor are primarily for cooking., biochar is an added “throw-in” which people hope will help make the stove more affordable.

    Even biochar is not the same. We are contemplating community clusters where the biochar can be used to make briquettes or incence sticks or maybe organic fertilizer. So biochar can mean employment generation and economic activity if that happens….

    Cheers! Sujatha

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