BHUBANESWAR: In an attempt to skill traditional bamboo artisans of the State, the department of Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts is setting up a research and development centre on bamboo craft in the Capital City.
The State Institute for Development of Arts and Crafts (SIDAC) under the department is setting up the centre on its premises in collaboration with Odisha Bamboo Development Agency. It will work in areas like bamboo product innovation, design research and development besides, increasing the productivity and income of bamboo artisans of the State. OBDA will be funding the project.
Officials of SIDAC said in the beginning, the focus will be bamboo clusters in five districts of Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Bargarh, Jajpur and Subarnapur. While in Dhenkanal, the clusters identified for the purpose at block level are Baulapur and Odapada, it is Ichinda and Rairangpur in case of Mayurbhanj.
Similarly Bargaon-Kantapali, Brahmanidhi (Padmapur) will be covered in Bargarh; Gopalpur and Rasulpur blocks in Jajpur and Binika in Subarnapur. At least 30 bamboo artisans in each block will be selected for training in the centre. Subsequently, artisans in other bamboo growing districts will be covered.
SIDAC Member Secretary Sisir Kumar Rath said that the craft is currently very localised and not contemporary in nature. "Our focus is on product development including proper processing of bamboo to make it last longer and contemporising the product designs. We will empanel a design agency for the purpose and design training will begin in the next 3 to 4 months," he said, adding that bamboo craft is mostly limited to utility products in the State and efforts are on to take it to a level like that in North Eastern states where bamboo products are exported.
Bamboo products in Odisha are mostly limited to baskets, furniture and utility items. Last year, the Directorate of Handicrafts and Cottage Industries and OBDA signed an MoU for holistic development of bamboo craft and its artisans at the cost of nearly Rs 7 crore. Around 22,000 artisans are to be covered under the project.
Boost to bamboo craft
Bamboo products in Odisha mostly limited to baskets, furniture and utility items
Last year, Directorate of Handicrafts and Cottage Industries and OBDA signed an MoU
MoU of Rs 7 crore to work for holistic development of bamboo craft and its artisans
Around 22,000 artisans are to be covered under the project