As we drove out of our hotel in Ranchi towards Ramgarh, and then onward to Gola and Rakua Gram Panchayat, we could see large clusters of Bamboo growing on either side of NH320. Bamboo forests are an incredible sight to behold. Jharkhand, a tribal dominated state, produces bamboo on a large scale. It was exciting as we were going to meet the Rakua Bamboo artisans for the first time and flag off the first ever Bamboo Product Development Workshop done in Rakua. On a hot summer afternoon even with the temperatures soaring to over 40 degrees Celsius about 20 men and women artisans had come together for the five-day workshop at the premises of Sarswati Shishu Vidya Mandir and Residential School for the Differently Abled. A tripartite project between Transforming Rural India Foundation, Agragati and Rangsutra Crafts India Limited, the project aims to develop a viable bamboo craft cluster which would have the potential to create sustainable livelihoods opportunities for Bamboo artisans and youth in Ramgarh district. Rangsutra will work with the artisans to upgrade their skills, give design inputs, and provide market linkages. We look forward to seeing unique designs and products from the Rakua cluster.
Gallery of visuals from the visit:
Bamboo Forests In Rakua
Bamboo tool kit being handed over to Balco Devi by Rangsutra Crafts India Ltd founder, Sumita Ghose.
Women Bamboo Artisans at the Workshop
Bamboo strips 'Khirki' are first made by the artisans
Bamboo strips 'Patta' are first made by the artisans
First day of the PD workshop
New products being made
Master artisan Bhuvneshwar Turi at work
Women artisans at the PD Workshop
The base of the bamboo basket is made first
Once the structure is in place, the body is woven
Bamboo products made by female bamboo artisans