NGO helps iron wallahs migrate from coal to LPG-powered boxes

A pilot revealed that the shift resulted in increased productivity and earnings and reduced health issues

Udhyam Vyapaar, a part of Udhyam Learning Foundation, a Bengaluru-based NGO founded by ex-Flipkart CPO Mekin Maheshwari, is trying to iron out the problems faced by iron wallahs by helping them migrate from coal to LPG-powered boxes.

A study conducted by Udhyam Vyapaar revealed that the input fuel, coal, was the root cause of the challenges faced by istri entrepreneurs. From high and unregulated fuel costs to the wasted time spent on getting the fuel to the right temperature, to respiratory side effects of inhaling coal fumes for years on end, the list of burning issues was endless, as per the study.

The NGO also identified a sustainable alternative, an LPG-based iron box. A pilot conducted involving istri entrepreneurs revealed that shifting from coal-powered iron boxes to LPG-powered ones resulted in increased productivity and earnings and reduced health issues.

The pilot also revealed that entrepreneurs saved between 1.5-2 hours per day, which is otherwise spent on heating the coal to the right temperature. This productivity increase resulted in an overall income uplift of 27%, claimed the NGO in a statement.

Udhyam Vyapaar has collaborated with the CSR team of ThoughtWorks and LetsEndorse Development to create a subsidy possible, to buy an LPG iron box, for a cohort of 250 istri entrepreneurs in Bengaluru.

After seeing a positive impact of this initiative on the livelihood and health of entrepreneurs, the NGO is now working to accelerate the transformation to LPG for more ironing service providers, as per the release.

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