The Pakistan Chulah addresses the plight of women in rural areas of the Third World. Since it is mostly women who cook for their families, they are the worst sufferers. The eye and respiratory diseases they acquire largely remain unattended throughout their lives. The food cooked on floor-mounted single-stoves leads to unhygienic food and is a major cause of diarrhea, particularly among infants and children.
The Pakistan Chulah provides a clean dining space for the family on a raised earthen platform. Fuelled by agricultural waste, twigs or sawdust bricks, it prevents women from spending excessive time in the search for fuel. It also forestalls the use of biomass for cooking. As we know 2.4 billion people rely on biomass for cooking and heating, leading to large-scale environmental degradation.
The Pakistan Chulah is mounted on a raised lime-stabilized earthen platform. It is built to be DRR (disaster risk reduction)-compliant, being unaffected by rain, floodwaters or earthquakes. The techniques in earth construction are drawn from vernacular traditions of Pakistan. Rural women are particularly proficient in building earthen structures, which are then covered with a render, lovingly and carefully applied to beautify the core of the earth wall. The plaster is usually mixed with straw and cow dung, providing it with elasticity and smoothness. By adding lime recommended by us, the structures become strong and are no longer prone to usual disintegration of earth surfaces. The addition of lime is derived from Pakistan’s own ancient heritage going back to the 13th century, as well as the pyramids of Egypt and the aqueducts of Rome.
Yasmeen Lari on Domusweb