Exquisite and exotic, handy and durable, organic and zero carbon footprints- mesmerizing works on bamboo by rural entrepreneurs in Lakhimpur district have been earning fame and contributing to sustainable development.
Noted among them is Elena Talukdar, an Ayurvedic medic based in Dhalpur area of the district, who has been successfully running an industry of bamboo products helping and empowering rural youths, women and housewives of the area.
With the brand name of Mesmerizing Bamboo Fusion, Talukdar has been designing jewellery, intricate handicrafts-handlooms and furniture and selling their products in national and international markets.
Among her products, the exquisite jewellery and handloom made from bamboo are drawing attention. Jewellery like earrings, necklaces, finger rings, hair bands, clips, brooch pins, bangles, bracelets, armlets, anklets and other fashion accessories are made in her bamboo industry.
The furniture, made from bamboo is also equally exclusive and exotic. Since 2015 Talukdar has been organizing training programmes on bamboo jewellery and bag making in her industry.
These programmes have been aptly supported by the Bamboo Development Agency, Assam.
So far around one hundred artisans, mostly women from the rural areas have been benefitted by the training programmes following which the artisans were given part-time jobs of making bamboo products in her unit.
She has developed an innovative concept of bamboo embellished textile products adding attractive handmade bamboo beads and ornaments in Muga, Eri, Paat and local handloom attires.
Before the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Talukdar sent craftsmen trained in her industry to participate in different exhibitions like India International Trade Fair Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, Suraj Kund Craft Fair, various expos in Bangkok, Thimphu etc. to display and sell the finished products in a bid to provide marketing strategies and sustained employment opportunities to them.
Of late she has been offering low-cost housing solutions made from bamboo products.
Following the huge scope for replacement of less sustainable resources and for creation of green jobs by effectively harnessing bamboo by upgrading existing products and introducing new products duly linked with markets is one young artisan-entrepreneur Aditya Bordoloi.
Based in Amaluguri village under Harhi Gaon Panchayat of Dhakuwakhona sub-division of Lakhimpur district, Aditya learnt the craftsmanship of bamboo and cane from his uncle’s workshop at Dhemaji at a very tender age.
He started his own small enterprise in 2014 in his village and since then he has established himself as a skilled and successful entrepreneur making mostly traditional products.
As bamboo plays an inseparable role in the lives of agrarian people in Assam, Aditya concentrated in making mostly traditional bamboo products from various types of baskets, mats, and fishing tools, decorative and ceremonial objects.
Besides he also makes furniture in his unit. So far Aditya has not received any institutional assistance in form of training, finance and marketing and mostly confined to local buyers.
The importance of bamboo to global sustainable development and tackling climate change was made in June 2018 in Beijing during the conference of International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR).
The conference explained that bamboo is stronger than concrete or steel but is a renewable resource, providing refuge and food for wildlife as well as biomass.
It captures higher amounts of CO2 than most other plants and can be harvested significantly faster than wood—over a period of 20 years, it can produce almost 12 times as much material like wood.
Bamboo can be used for shelter as well as, in some cases, transport, and provides sustainable, ecologically-friendly economic and commercial opportunities to people, especially in poorer communities.
INBAR also pointed out that bamboo use can play a significant part in helping countries meet many of the UN’s sustainable development goals.
Bamboo products by these two entrepreneurs of Lakhimpur have been silently contributing for the promotion of green economy, sustainable growth, economic prosperity and poverty reduction along with mitigation of climate change in Assam.