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Bhubaneswar: Terming LPG a catalyst for social change, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today said the Centre is striving to make cooking gas accessible to the poorest of the poor in the country and make villages pollution-free.

The cooking gas is now being seen as a catalyst for social change and not merely as a source of profit, the Minister said adding that it can help poor villagers with clean and green energy.

He was speaking at an International Conference 'LPG - Catalyst of Social Change' here.

Highlighting various initiatives taken by Narendra Modi government including LPG to every household in rural India, which suffering from air pollution, the Minister said only 74 million people are now using around 24 million MT of LPG through a network of 18,000 distributors across the country.

He also praised the oil PSUs and all stakeholders for taking effective steps for making LPG affordable and accessible to the poor.

Pradhan expressed confidence that the two-day conference will provide necessary roadmap to learn and adopt the best practices from across the globe.

Jharkhand Governor Droupadi Murmu who inaugurated the conference lauded the effort being made by the Centre to ensure LPG to poorest of poor in rural areas and also recounted her own experience as a village dweller with no access to cooking gas.

Stressing that the present intervention in LPG sector will result in significant improvement in convenience of women, Murmu voiced confidence that the international meet will provide a suitable platform to improve the LPG distributor network.

Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director UN Women, spoke on the vision of the United Nations to provide clean and green sustainable energy to everyone.

She appreciated the efforts made by India to ensure energy access to most vulnerable society of villages which will impact the lives of women and girls living in villages.

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