Empowering Tripura Artisans: Sustainable Bamboo Crafting Initiatives

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In the heart of Braj Nagar, West Tripura, Jyotsana Devnath’s journey as a bamboo artisan unfolds. Married into a family renowned for crafting bamboo products, Jyotsana, under the guidance of her husband Rajkumar Devnath, has honed her skills over 35 years, creating diverse bamboo items.

The Bamboo Landscape in Tripura

Bamboo, a crucial non-wood forest resource, is extensively utilized by tribal and rural communities in Tripura, engaging approximately 1.49 lakh artisans. Jyotsana’s experience highlights a surge in demand for bamboo products beyond Tripura’s borders, prompting business expansion.

Silpakarman, a bamboo craft brand, has established a unique value chain in Tripura. Working directly with artisans, it designs, markets, and sells bamboo-based products, eliminating intermediaries. This model ensures stable incomes and increased work opportunities for local artisans.

Silpakarman operates on a cluster-based system, where artisans, under cluster heads like Jyotsana, engage in material sourcing and production. This innovative approach, connected through Tanmoy Mazumdar, a local partner of Silpakarman, ensures product traceability and effective communication.

The pivotal role of design in this value chain is emphasized by Tanmoy Mazumdar. Silpakarman’s focus on refining designs and providing training has transformed traditional bamboo products. The shift towards innovative designs aims to enhance product appeal and quality.

While the bamboo-based economy faces challenges such as limited market connectivity and remote locations affecting timely deliveries, Silpakarman’s value chain model aims to address these issues. By eliminating intermediaries, the organization has successfully provided livelihoods for over 250 artisans in Tripura.

India, with abundant bamboo resources, holds immense potential for a bamboo-based economy. However, challenges persist in tapping into this potential fully. Government initiatives, market linkages, and awareness programs aim to revamp the entire value chain and boost bamboo cultivation and utilization.

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