Hyderabad (Telangana): An entrepreneur couple in Hyderabad has started an organisation, which not only promotes the use of bamboo, but is also building communities and providing sustainable livelihood opportunities to rural and tribal communities at the same time.
It all began with the couple’s search for furniture made out of bamboo and their search landed Aruna Kappagantula and Prashant Lingamin a small village called Katlamara in Tripura on the Indo-Bangladesh border.
However, their hunts for a sofa led them to a future they never imagined.
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Aruna and Prashant, who knew nothing about the domain or the communities working with bamboo, decided to support the communities in their own small entrepreneurial way, and thus began their journey into making bamboo their life.
Besides promoting sustainable living, their bamboo making products also provide employment to several farmers and artisans, who are involved in the process from growing the crop to building the structure.
“We have attested-done 150 projects in 4 to 5 years. We are getting good response from the market. A very good thing about this is that it generates employment from rural area to urban area,” Prashant said.
Prashant recalled that the visit was an eye-opening experience, as the entire village was filled with bamboo and every person’s livelihood depended directly or indirectly on it.
“Bamboo is a great substitute for wood. There is so much potential in it. While normal trees that are cut down take 20 to 25 years to grow, bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, and can grow almost an inch every day,” he added.
Aruna said when they reached Katlamara, they discovered that the communities that were trained in and dependent on bamboo were facing livelihood issues.
“We did face a lot of problem. The bamboos are available in deep forest and there was also a communication problem. We have learnt from our failures,” she said.
The couple also faced opposition from their families, who were sceptical of the proposal. However, the ‘Recycled India’ initiative has given them an opportunity to ring in a social change on a wider scale.
A decade into ‘Bamboo House India’, their initiative of promoting green livelihood through the construction of bamboo houses across the country, entrepreneur couple Prashant and Aruna are broadening their purpose through the ‘ Recycled India’ initiative.