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Bamboo Lawada | Social Venture | Short Film

Bamboo Lawada | Social Venture | Short Film


More than a plant, bamboo should be viewed as a commodity and it’s valuable qualities should be utilized properly. It is an engineering material, It looks like a pipe but actually it’s a bundle of pipes, and all such pipes are held together by binding starch and has a ‘knotty’ appearance as seen in fingers because of which it becomes very strong. If you see its form feature, it has a strong outer portion with more fibres and less starch. The inner portion has less fibres and more starch. That is why, bamboo has a soft inner and a strong outer portion.
The middle portion has the optimum composition for craftmanship. Before using bamboo its hard and smooth outer layer must be scrapped or rubbed off
to facilitate polishing and application of adhesives. Underneath this outer layer is the bulky middle portion ‘guda’. This ‘guda’ (middle portion) is alone useful for craftmanship. With that portion they make strips, planks, rods, nails, etc. Secondly, bamboo has a productive life of 4-5 years,
compared to more than 5000 years for metal and 25 years for wood. Whatever we can’t grow in our lifetime, the extent to which
it should be used has to be decided by us. Being an ecological and engineering material,
bamboo should be utilized in a sustainable way, and this forms the basis of our work. Coming from a different region, natives perceived us as ‘outsiders’. I faced a challenge on how to work in ‘their’ region. But when I and Nirupama decided to live and work in the same region, we selected a nearby rural place rather than a far off one. We finalized on Melghat, a tribal region and then started living here. Soon we realized that instead of working ‘for’ them
we need to work ‘with’ these people. This community has a rich knowledge about Bamboo, as seen through their widespread use in thatching houses, in other objects like ‘Nanchari’ for sowing ‘muska’ for securing bull’s mouth, handle for grinding stone and baskets for keeping poultry. This means that they know well about
harvesting and working on bamboo. We have introduced only one aspect to their livelihood, that is, by increasing labour input and using less material
to increase the profitability of the finished product. This apporach was applied in all the design. Recently we supplied 500 pieces to a jeweller
our popular paper weight design. We introduced a simple addition of ‘gudi’
on the occassion of ‘gudi padwa’ and because of that we received a great demand from people. Gradually, we helped these people to come out
of the government dependent mindset and to acquire skills and generate employment for themselves. After this, building a ‘man’ was a challenge. The tragic earthquake of Bhuj (Gujarat) in 2001, provided
a turning point for these (tribal) people During the rehabilitation work, a group pf 50 artisan helped
to erect 745 houses made of bamboo. This experience proved transformative in expanding their
working capacity and self-belief. With their rise in income arose the need of matching wisdom else they fail to understand the value of money. To generate proper wisdom we adopted the path of prayers. We selected dohas and shlokas of Kabir, Tulsidas and Purna Madah
for their morning and evening prayers. These people belong to the community called ‘Korku’ meaning ‘Human’. They treat both human and environment with humanity,
which is their core trait. We are working to change the social perception about this
community from negative to positive. While they had a negative image due to prevailing
malnutrition, supersitious beliefs and illiteracy; it had several virtues as well, such as – abhorrence towards
stealing, begging and untruthfulness among its poeple. Secondly, this community also bears a rich tradition of knowledge. The management, compilation, preservation
and promotion of that knowledge is our mission. For that, we decided to establish the institution of
‘Gram Gyanpeeth’ (Knowledge Centre) We will preserve their strength and knowledge by
making them realize their potential and positive aspects. This would comprise of 9 types of ‘gurukul’ focussed on 7 technologies –
Bamboo, Clothing, Leather, Metal, Stone, Pottery, Folk Art and Agriculture.

17 thoughts on “Bamboo Lawada | Social Venture | Short Film”

  1. Joining the villagers and helping them do what they do better and even better. That is empowerment in the true sense of the word. Excellent work by the Deshpandes presented beautifully.

  2. Great job Bidit…it would go a long way in reviving, revitalizating and creating demand for these artistic masterpieces…All the best πŸ™‚

  3. Hi, by profession I am a designer, and interested in joining this innovative team to explore and give new ideas and help these tribes and artists. Thanks to share this video.

  4. very nice Roy sir I'm very impressed by your vision. I am also going to make documentry . please help me. How I can contact you

  5. It has been made very beautifully with apt music and shots. Deshpandeji's narration is the icing on a very well made cake. Thanks for sharing this.

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