The golden glow of a large variety of bamboo craft products which blend tradition perfectly with the modern greets those who reach Women’s Association Hall at Diwan’s Road here to see an exhibition organised jointly by the Wayanad-based Uravu, a charitable trust promoting livelihood avenues among tribal groups of the hill district, and the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) of the Union Ministry of Textiles. The exhibits include a wide range of unique products made from bamboo including bamboo jewellery, bamboo-based corporate gift items and bamboo-based conference organising materials.
A number of specially carved lamp shades and book-shaped containers to keep spices have turned the cynosure of all eyes at the exhibition, which will continue till March 2. “The climate and amazing biodiversity of Wayanad has given a richness and texture to this region’s traditional tribal craft with nature literally woven into the warp and weft of its products. Blending the craft skills of the region with present day urban needs creates products of Uravu,’’ says C.Surendranath, one of the coordinators of the organisation. “It is an exclusive craft exhibition where we display the best of the unique tribal craft of Wayanad. They can provide a rare aesthetic to the urban households in Kochi and each product is cost-effective,” he says.
The prices range between Rs.25 and Rs.4,000. The products, which have received value addition from leading bamboo research centres across the globe and experts from other tribal regions of the country, have been made under an environment-friendly atmosphere. According to Mr Surendranath, there is increasing awareness among people around the world about the need for environment-friendly products and India has taken the lead among other countries for marketing these products globally. As per estimates, around 4,000 products are manufactured worldwide with bamboo.
“The usage of bamboo has become a local solution for a global problem, and the need of the hour in India is the implementation of a development policy based on the bamboo industry. Apart from creating more job opportunities, it will pave the way for bringing the downtrodden communities into the mainstream,” he said.
He said the bamboo industry in Kerala was on the verge of a crisis on account of the shortage of raw materials, which has hindered the development of innovative products. Though the State enjoys the advantage for bamboo-based industries, it has not properly utilised it. Uravu Bamboo Factory which is located about 12 km from Kalpetta, Wayanad, is one of the best examples of micro industries supporting the local economy.