Assam is India’s Bamboo Art Hub
The northeastern state of Assam is known as the ‘King of Bamboo market’. The state is the largest producer of bamboo across the country. The state offers immense scope for bamboo studies since the region happens to be of Indo – Myanmar hotspot of diversity and very rich in terms of its natural resources pertaining to flora and fauna also inhabited by numerous aboriginal tribes. Bamboo can be an important vehicle for sustainable and widespread development, augmenting economic opportunity, income and employment.
The North-east is a collective name for the easternmost part of India comprising the states of
Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
The multi-lingual region is inhabited by different tribes and several sub-tribes, making the region vibrant with colorful people. It is not only the haunting beauty of the place but also the lifestyle and the culture that makes this region worth exploring. Life here is simpler, friendlier, quiet and peaceful without the fast hustle of city life.
SOIL AND CLIMATIC CONDITIONS
Bamboo is a pivotal element in the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; bamboo produces 30% of its volume in biomass. It is found in places that qualify as Tropical & Subtropical or temperate zones.
Socio – Economic perspective
Bamboo offers promise and potential for value addition and incremental income and employment. There is a traditional familiarity with the material, and a legacy of skill that can be built upon for newly emerging applications and products. All of this means along with the fact of abundant bamboo, that Assam has a competitive and comparative advantage. It can substitute technologically and commercially not only could, but also plastics, steel and cement and composite materials in structural and product applications through improvement in processing technologies, product innovations and the application of scientific and engineering skills.
Promotion of bamboo based industries at cottage level, small scale, medium and large scale for utilizing the resources at a sustainable level for generating assured income. Promotion of bamboo sector development as an essential component of rural development strategy linked with forestry and agri-business sector in the State promoting rural employment.
Bamboo rich areas having bamboo development potential and having Economic and Ecological significance must be identified, surveyed, demarcated and dedicated to permanent bamboo growing (in Government, Community, Private Sector). Production practices with no child labour and use of sustainable materials wherever possible. Ethical perspective – skillfully and carefully made not mass produced. Preserving traditional skills that can be passed on to others in their own community. Changing lives by decreasing poverty and supporting artisans’ / farmers’ livelihood with fair wages.
Also Read: https://nomadlawyer.org/barak-valleys-beautiful-shon-beel/
Women of northeast are very prosperous in the art of ‘Silk and bamboo’. Generally they are used to doing such work for their domestic use, but unfortunately there are no such platforms. They require professional touch as per the requirement of demand of the market. Government tries to uplift the art and artisans through various programmes and policies.
Despite various government and non government efforts, the reality is not satisfactory. The artisans and local farmers suffer a lot due to being unorganized, lack of education, financially not sound, poor exposure to new technologies, absence of market intelligence and a poor institutional framework.
Unorganized production, low productivity, faces problems such as a paucity of professional infrastructure. lack of education makes it difficult to manage inventory, access government schemes and bargain with traders and middlemen.
Another most important aspect of the cultural life of the people of northeast is – weaving, handicraft, etc. Nearly every household irrespective of caste, creed and social status has at least one loom and most women are expected to be skilled in producing fine silk, cotton cloth, etc. Silk is very much famous in Assam, like, Eri Silk, Assam Silk, Nuni Silk, Spun Silk and also pure cotton and are 100% vegetable dyed.
Organic resources also played a major role in Assam.
a) Orange b) Pineapple c) Ginger d) Kidney beans e) Ghost pepper f) Sesame oil
g) Beekeeping h) Fish farming, etc.
To evolve the North East Region as a hub of innovation and design for bamboo based products recreating synergy between state & central government, various institutions, and business stakeholders is very important.
Contributed by: Jahid Ahmed Choudhury
Entrepreneur/ Community Health and Travel Blogger/ Social Worker/Member, Team Nomad Lawyer
Edited by: Imtiaz Ullah
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