The Bamboo Factory Wayanad: A Sustainable Ecotourism Destination
Uravu- The Bamboo factory is a non-profit organization in Thrikkaipetta village, about 10 kilometres from Kalpetta in Wayanad, Kerala. It operates as part of the State Bamboo Mission, which is overseen by the Department of Industries. Uravu aspires to uplift tribal communities in the region by utilizing traditional sciences and technology.
The construction of a thriving bamboo crafts design and production centre, supplemented by a bamboo nursery, is one of Uravu's outstanding initiatives. Wayanad is abundant in bamboo resources, and Uravu actively promotes local tribes' traditional technology and skill, enabling the manufacture of a varied range of bamboo items. These things include both useful and decorative goods.
The Bamboo Factory also plays an important role in marketing and selling these bamboo goods through its outlets in Thrikkaipetta and near Pookot Lake. Uravu not only employs local residents but also contributes to the restoration of the ecology by utilizing locally available materials and traditional skills. It acts as a catalyst for restoring and preserving traditional skills and information that might otherwise be lost.
Uravu exhibits a commitment to community development, environmental sustainability, and the preservation of indigenous cultural heritage through its comprehensive approach. Uravu aids the economic empowerment of local communities while cultivating a deeper understanding of the rich cultural past linked with bamboo in Wayanad through promoting bamboo-based industries.
What Does Uravu Mean?
Uravu, which means "spring" or "source" in Malayalam, has emerged as an essential source of income and a catalyst for tribal community upliftment. It began as a bamboo processing training and design centre in 1996 and has since made significant contributions to the tribal community's economic and cultural progress. Uravu aspires to sustainable economic development by utilizing the potential of bamboo, leveraging this plentiful and locally available resource in the region.
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How Did Uravu Start?
When farmer suicide rates in Wayanad soared in 1996, six persons from different states joined together to start an NGO to assist the bereaved families.
The use of bamboo as a focal point for Uravu's projects is motivated by a number of considerations. For starters, bamboo provides a local solution to global problems. Uravu intends to rehabilitate and rejuvenate these traditional techniques, given the area's abundance and the traditional expertise of the tribes and local people in manufacturing diverse products such as bags, handicrafts, and furniture. Furthermore, bamboo has substantial economic and environmental benefits, making it an excellent choice for businesses to use.
From a sustainability standpoint, bamboo plays a vital role in rejuvenating degraded lands and preventing soil erosion. Uravu can convert degraded lands into lucrative resources while aiding eco-restoration efforts by fostering a bamboo-based economy. Furthermore, bamboo-based products are environmentally friendly alternatives to non-biodegradable and synthetic materials.
Furthermore, embracing bamboo planting has several economic benefits. Bamboo plantations involve little financial input and capitalize on local farmers' inherent agricultural expertise. Uravu contributes to the rehabilitation of the rural economy by focusing on bamboo-based products and enterprises, offering sustainable livelihood options for the community.
How Does Uravu Support Indigenous Tribes and Women?
To educate people about the usage of bamboo and to promote things made of this "green gold," Uravu employs a number of locals and promotes outstanding artisans. When Uravu began in 1996, there were just 8 families that worked with bamboo; today, there are 200 households that prosper with bamboo-related occupations. Uravu works with roughly 15 women's self-help groups and over 100 local women artisans.
What Is the Working Hour of Uravu, the Bamboo Village?
Except on Sunday, the town is open from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day of the week. Public holidays may also have an impact on working hours.
Impact of Uravu
Uravu's concentration on bamboo not only targets economic empowerment but also assists the rural population in regaining control of natural resources. Uravu continues to support sustainable development while protecting local traditions and enhancing the well-being of the tribal populations it serves by recognizing the environmental value, economic benefits, and cultural legacy linked with bamboo.
Uravu artisans have successfully manufactured a wide range of value-added products, including bags, pens, furniture, CD covers, home utensils, and handicraft items. These products are skillfully marketed, helping the local community's marginalized groups, such as traditional craftspeople, tribes, and women.
Uravu regularly participates in training efforts as a partner of the State Bamboo Mission. Uravu provides craft training to rural residents through the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVJ) initiative, which was launched by the Government of India. In addition, the group has worked with Ambedkar Hast Shilp Vikas Yojana (AHVY) and NABARD to create mother and satellite units in Wayanad for the development of bamboo crafts and goods.
Learn More: The Tribal Life of Wayanad
Uravu's programs have assisted roughly 200 Wayanad families in finding sustainable livelihoods through bamboo-related activities. The bamboo Factory has contributed to the sustainable growth of the Bamboo Village in Thrikkaipetta by combining these efforts with responsible tourism, all while maintaining the region's ecological balance.
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