Bamboo furniture changing lives in state

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Sidhai (Tripura), Apr 5 : A new group of young artisans from Tripura with an idea to encourage self-employment have set up their handicraft workshop at Sidhai village under the banner of Bamboo Enterprises United (BENU).

The speciality of the group is that it has taken the initiative to showcase furniture made of 'kanakaich' (a variety of bamboo), which till recently was useless except for making police batons and now is in high demand not only in the domestic market but also abroad."One not succeed in getting a job after a good academic background. We here have set up nine Self Help Groups (SHGs) under one banner. The government of India's Development of Handicraft Commission (DHC) gave this Common Facility Centre (CFC) building and also arranged training," said Susanta Biswas, manager.

In the 2007, a team member had even participated at the five-day London Handicrafts Exhibition in Birmingham. With the demand for handmade eco-friendly products catching up, the artisans are gradually honing themselves up for that.

"We make a variety of specially designed furniture with good finishing for our products has increased in the local and outside market. Now, I earn between rupees 80 to 100 daily," said Bikash, a worker.

The BENU is on date not only involved in a massive project in the state, but also encouraging rural artisans and entrepreneurs to take up bamboo based works as a vocation.

Recently, the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) seeing the success of such units like BENU has agreed to invest Rs 346 crore for promoting bamboo cultivation.

In Tripura, the 'muli' and 'barak' varieties of bamboo have been used for handicrafts, fencing, roofing, making clubs wielded by policemen and incense sticks.

In India, durable products are in high demand in Goa, Hydrabad and Bangalore besides Delhi. Furniture is also being exported to UK, Germany and France.

ANI

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