While Bodos are the aboriginals from northeast India, the Buruds are the natives of Maharashtra. What’s common among them is their skill in creating bamboo products. City-based social enterprise Bamboo Upgrading Research and Utility Development (BURUD), which works for the upliftment of the people of the community, is set to collaborate with bamboo craftsmen from the northeastern states to showcase their skills.
Rajendra Sapkal, president of BURUD, said he has been associated with the enterprise for the last 15 years. With the popularisation of plastic products, the source of income for Buruds witnessed a substantial dip.
“This is what led to the establishment of BURUD 15 years ago to train the people of the community in designing modern bamboo products. The traditional products made by the northeast people usually don’t sell in the market. And since we take bulk orders too, we have decided to tie up with the Bodos and utilise their skills. The project will boost their income,” said Sapkal, adding that the tie-up is being facilitated by All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) and Pune-based organisation Sarhad.
BURUD representatives will be visiting the north-eastern states after Diwali and the project will commence in mid-December. The tie up will be worked out at two levels. “Either they can make the basic product design at their end and we can give finishing touches at BURUD, or we can train them in making the finished product,” said Sapkal, who is also the founder of Bamboo Masters, which deals in bamboo products and also conducts workshops and training programmes in bamboo art.
Sanjay Nahar, founder of Sarhad, said, “The Bodos will benefit from such a venture.” According to Sapkal, given the global warming issue, more and more people should use bamboo-based products as they are nature-friendly and have high labour creation potential. “While other trees die when we cut them, bamboo’s shoot regrows. Thus, there is no harm to the environment. A few years ago, the government had also passed a GR that emphasised on the use of products made with natural materials,” said Sapkal.