Solar Cooking
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Last edited: 27 April 2022      

Dr. Janak McGilligan

Dr. Janak McGilligan and her late husband Jimmy McGilligan were Baha'i pioneers who established and developed the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women. Janak served as Director since its establishment on June 1, 1985 until she retired on April 16, 2011. Jimmy served as Manager from 1988 to 2011. Janak is now the director of the Jimmy McGilligan Centre for Sustainable Development.

Most significant projects[]

Jimmy McGilligan demonstrates a large parabolic solar reflector to local women. Photo credit: Janak McGilligan

  • Jimmy McGilligan Centre for Sustainable Development and the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women - The long lasting partnership of Janak McGilligan and Jimmy McGilligan has provided a depth of solar cooking instruction for rural residents in India, beginning their work in 2008. Since that time, the two facilities, the Jimmy McGilligan Centre for Sustainable Development and the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women, have trained over 150,000 youths in solar cooking, and over 6,000 rural and tribal women from over 1,000 villages to be community workers and trainers for solar cooking. They have shown communities that solar cookers can prepare their traditional and community foods with no problem, and have supervised the installation of many Scheffler Community Kitchens. Their projects have helped the self esteem of the local women, and created opportunities for them to use solar cooking to establish businesses that continue to provide community revenue. Jimmy passed away in 2011, but as of 2022, Janak continues to carry on their valuable work. Watch Janak McGilligan recall their work at CONSOLFOOD 2022


  • NEW: January 2022: Keynote address CONSOLFOOD 2022 - Janak McGilligan presented opening remarks addressing how solar cooking and food processing are able to accomplish sustainable development goals, based on her hands-on experience in India.

1-1 Solar Cooking and Food Processing for Accomplishing Sustainable Development … - CONSOLFOOD 2022-4

A woman prepares a meal with her parabolic solar cooker in India, Photo credit: CNN

  • October 2021: Recognizing the need for solar cooking: - Solar Cookers International was pleased to be recognized for its effort in promoting solar cooking by CNN. Approximately four million solar cookers are in use at this time worldwide, helping to save entire forests from destruction. SCI Advisor, Janak McGilligan, describes the efforts the Jimmy McGilligan Centre for Sustainable Development has contributed to many communities in India with their solar cooking introductory programs. Read the article...

Women training women to use solar cookers, celebrating World Environment Day. Photo credit: J. McGilligan, 2017.

  • June 2017: Dr. Janak McGilligan, SCI Global Advisor, was joined by chief guest Dr. Vandana Shiva, plenary speaker at the 6th SCI World Conference 2017, at the World Environment Day celebration. Five parabolic solar cookers were distributed to five landless women who have been cooking over open fires. The women contributed 10% of the purchase price for the PRINCE cookers. The remainder was subsidized by Solar Cookers International donors.
  • Janak Palta McGilligan is honored as a Green Hero by TERI - TERI honored Dr. Mrs. Janak Palta McGilligan as a Green Hero for her inspiring work in the field of solar cooking and sustainable lifestyles in Indore, India. TERI video on Janak's work...
  • May 2017: Janak Palta McGilligan receives SCI award - Recognized for her exemplary work in promoting solar thermal cooking, Janak recently received the Solar Cookers Internationals Order of Excellence. Read more...
  • April 2016: Dr. Mrs. Janak McGilligan has been appointed to the Solar Cookers International Advisory Council. SCI noted; "Your depth of knowledge and considerable contributions to the global understanding of solar thermal and related technologies is respected worldwide." - The Free Press Journal

Articles in the media[]


Audio and video[]


Janak Palta McGilligan speaks at the United Nations 18 July 2017

Dr. (Mrs.) Janak Palta McGilligan speaking at the RIS-UNF Panel Discussion "Implementation Agenda 2030: Role of Global Partnership" - a session focused on India at the United Nations 2017 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York. Filmed by Solar Cookers International Board Member Michael Paparian.

  • July 2017:

Dr. Mrs. Janak Palta McGilligan at the UN July 2017

Dr. Mrs. Janak Palta McGilligan speaks about the 17 SDGs and solar cooking to world leaders.

  • July 2017:
  • May 2017: 
  • March 2017:
  • January 2017:
  • July 2014:

McGilligan Empowering young Rural and Tribal women with Solar Cookers

See also[]

External links[]


Dr. Janak McGilligan
Village &Panchayat Sanawadiya
Kampel Road
Indore 452016
Madhya Pradesh

Tel: +91 9977713397, +91 9425032935