New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) Over 100 poor women from 27 states who received free cooking gas LPG connections, under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, today met President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and shared their life changing experience.

First, 104 women participated in a LPG Panchayat at Rastrapati Bhawan and shared how moving from firewood and cowdung as cooking medium to a cleaner LPG has improved their health and saved them time and money.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was present on the occasion, later told reporters that 1 lakh Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayats are to be held across the country as part of awareness drive for inculcating safe LPG practices as well as to convey benefits of using cooking gas.

At the meeting, President expressed happiness over the progress of the scheme with over 3.4 crore connections being given out in 21 months of the scheme’s launch.

Pradhan said that the objective of PMUY is not only to distribute LPG connections but also to reduce the health hazards being faced by women who are still using conventional fuels for cooking.

“We are committed to achieve the revised target of 8 crore connections within the deadlines,” he said. “LPG Panchayat is serving as a platform to interact with the beneficiaries, harness their experiences and integrate them to create a knowledge base for triggering a sustainable and viable movement around Ujjwala.”

At the event, 5 PMUY beneficiaries shared their personal experiences of the deep impact made in their lives after shifting to LPG.

The beneficiaries later interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence.

During the informal interaction with Modi, the beneficiaries explained how their lives had improved through the use of LPG cylinders.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.