Prosperity comes when you utilise your resources and build upon it. This is what Tripura and other north-eastern States seem to be doing. Bamboo is being utilised in a big way to develop the regional economy and bring a qualitative change in the lives of the rural folks.
The recently held bamboo festival attracted wide attention.
With the demand for hand made products catching up and with the possibility of free trade with the neighbouring countries, the north-eastern artisans are gradually honing themselves up for that. The festival provided a perfect opportunity for the artists to showcase their talents.
These finished goods reflecting new thoughts and new designs, caught the attention of the customers.
"We had good profit and have learnt about many new uses of bamboo. People from different places inquired about our items," said Trika Debnath, a shopkeeper.
"Here in the fair there was a good demand of the handicraft materials. We have done a good business and earned profit," Sabita, another shopkeeper.
The week-long festival was inaugurated by Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Jairam Ramesh. Hundreds of entrepreneurs from different parts of the north-east participated in the fair with great zeal and enthusiasm. Foreign delegates from South America, Europe and Philippines also took a keen interest in the products.
The cynosure of all eyes was an electric generator set, which produced electricity with bamboo pieces, which held people in awe as bamboo pieces were put into a furnace and power was generated.
"Well there is certainly a greater scope for investment in this area in particular. And this is an area we see how we can assist but certainly there is a tremendous potential at the moment. That is what is being recognized in the national bamboo mission," said R. Phillipe of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization
"I was pretty amazed by the quality and also the reasonable prices of the local handicrafts. I have not seen such beautiful things in India as I have not spent much time in India, just two weeks. But the things made from local materials are extremely beautiful. It's difficult to see them in Europe. I travel a lot in Western Europe. It's really very difficult to see them," said Andre, a visitor.
On the sidelines of the festival the total utility of bamboo among the tribals was showcased. Indigenous sports were displayed. Bamboo race was a big hit among the people as women and men both participated in it. One could hear people cheering their participant with great enthusiasm. Archery too was not far behind as participants showcased their skills and tried hitting the targets accurately.