Bambuna — kindling entrepreneurship among rural women in Una

Rajesh Sharma

To provide skills to rural youth in bamboo craft and furniture making with the ultimate objective of providing them a sustainable livelihood, the Una district administration and the Una forest division recently launched the ‘Bambuna’ project in Lamlehri village, 15 km from Una.

Divisional Forest Officer Yashu Deep Singh said: “Bamboo is abundantly available in the district and the species has recently been removed from the purview of transit permit regime, which means it is not considered as a forest produce now and can not only be harvested, but also propagated on private land for income generation activities.”

The DFO said the project idea came up during discussions with district officials and funds to the tune of Rs 1 lakh were arranged by the District Rural Development Authority. A vacant building used in a previous project in Lamlehri village was put to use. Next, he said local youth were motivated to join the training, for which services of a bamboo craftsman from Tripura were hired. 

At first, locals seemed reluctant to spare time for the training since bamboo craft has never been introduced as employment generation in the rural areas here, said trainer craftsman Bimal Deprama. He, however, said with constant motivation of the government field officers, some women began taking interest. He said gradually, a group of seven women finally settled for the training, which is now into the fourth month.

Sunita, a local resident, said she was happy with the training being imparted since the products are new to the area and that she found bamboo craft as very interesting. She said during the last four months, they had been given training on various processes such as harvesting, cutting, drying, seasoning and shredding bamboo besides stripping, weaving, smoothening and polishing various designs from the strips. 

Pooja, who completed her schooling, but could not join college, said she was now motivated to take up the vocation as a profession. She said: “We have learnt to make different designs of dustbins, fruit baskets, table flag stands, table lamp shades and trays besides some designs of tables used as furniture. After smoothening and polishing, the products really come to life, but it will need some more practice to bring these to the level as we had seen in the magazines brought for us by the department officers.” 

Parminder, another young budding bamboo artisan, seemed exalted about the fact that their products had found good market in the first ever sale put up by them at the recently concluded district-level Piplu fair in Bangana sub-division. “My parents were happy, when I told them that the items fetched a sale of about Rs 20,000,” Parminder said.

Santosh Devi, the senior most member among the trainees, said they have now constituted a Self Help Group comprising seven women and have linked this group with the Rural Development Department. She said the officers have promised to provide them training in some more products before the trainer is moved to another village.

The group members were also enthusiastic on the promise of the district administration to allocate them a shop on the Una to Hamirpur highway in Boul village, where they can showcase their products for direct sale to customers. “That is when the Self Help Group will actually begin to get sustainable and every member will be motivated to work hard in order to enhance production and quality,” she said

The DFO said the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, in an office order has directed the Forest Departments of all states to use bamboo based furniture in offices. Consequently, he said the produce by the Self Help Group would be purchased and supplied to various offices of the Forest Department and Forest Corporation in the state. The product is eco-friendly and people have now got into the trend to avoid using plastic and non-degradable material in homes and offices, he said. 


Bamboo is abundantly available in the district and the species has recently been removed from the purview of transit permit regime, which means it is not considered as a forest produce now and can not only be harvested, but also propagated on private land for income generation activities. The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, has directed the Forest Departments of all states to use bamboo based furniture in offices. Consequently, the produce by the Self Help Group will be purchased and supplied to various offices of the Forest Department and Forest Corporation in the state. The product is eco-friendly and people have now got into the trend to avoid using plastic and non-degradable material in homes and offices.— Yashu Deep Singh, DFO, UNA

I am happy with the training being imparted since the products are new to the area. I found bamboo craft very interesting. During the last four months, we have been trained on various processes such as harvesting, cutting, drying, seasoning and shredding bamboo besides stripping, weaving, smoothening and polishing various designs from the strips. — Sunita, A local resident

My parents were happy, when I told them that the items fetched a sale of about Rs 20,000 in the first ever sale put up by us at the recently concluded district-level Piplu fair in Bangana sub-division. — Parminder, Another young budding bamboo artisan

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