Raipur, Dec 4 : People in Uttarakhand are making use of the locally grown wild grass to make furniture.
The wild grass, known as lantana, is invasive, and is considered to be a noxious weed.
The weed, which was considered a curse by the locals till now, is now turning into a blessing for the local people.
Uttarakhand based non-governmental organization (NGO), HAFCO, is conducting workshops for the locals and training them in making innovative articles like flower vases, stools, racks, dustbins and furniture pieces such as sofa sets, tables and chairs.
Vijay Pal Singh, who was earlier working as a casual labourer, has now turned to making furniture out of lantana after he attended a workshop by HAFCO.
"I attended the workshop and learnt how to make furniture out of it. I tried to make stools in the first instance in my home. In a couple of days, I sold them all this boosted my morale. Then once again, I attended a workshop for five to ten days, there I learnt how to make chairs and sofa sets," said Vijay. For the customers like Ravinder, it was a pleasant surprise when he saw the articles made out of lantana being sold at a local showroom.
"I was passing through this place and I noticed the workers making furniture out of this wild grass which I really liked," said Ravinder.
Village head of Bokakathal village, Jai Krishna Uniyal, was all praise for the efforts of the local people.
"The wild grass had made the land unfit for any use. This is a very good initiative taken up by locals to cut this wild grass and put it to use which is very laudable," said Jai.
The main advantage of this vocation is that the whole family can be involved in this and regular monthly income can be ensured for the entire family. By Ashish Goel