Vaishali (Bihar), Oct 19 (ANI): Sitting in his small unkempt studio, known as Bamboo Art Centre, artisan Sitaram Malik is concentrating hard to carve out a piece of art from a dead and dry bamboo.
Forty-year-old Malik has created many statues, facemasks and replicas of famous buildings which have won him laurels and awards.
A seasoned artist, whose artifacts are in big demand in India as well as overseas, earns a living out of bamboo art.
He says the art can come to the rescue of rural unemployed youth in his village. All he wishes is that the government should patronise and promote it.
"We request the government and the people concerned that there are many possibilities to create employment for the youth. The government should start a big industry so that mass production can be started. So, unemployed people can start working and earn their living," said Malik.
The artiste has trained many young people, who in turn are encouraging others in learning the skills of making bamboo artifacts.
Students who have learnt how to put bamboo poles and reeds in use are making household items like furniture, dustbins, tea mugs, wall hangings, and jewellery not only for their personal use but also for sale.
"We encourage children in the village to pursue the art. We have trained people elsewhere and created job opportunities. There were people who were unemployed they took training from this centre. They are now working and earning a decent living," said Nabal Kishore, an artisan.
The artisans say depending on the traditional bamboo art will not only preserve and promote the art, but will also stop rural people from migrating to cities in search of jobs.
Bamboo is split into thin strips to craft beautiful items. Sourcing bamboo is economical and viable as it is the fastest growing woody plant in the world.
Some of the prime species of bamboo have recorded growth rate of three to four feet in a single day. By Ajay Kumar (ANI)