Gadchiroli April 29 (District correspondent) A bamboo craft training centre started at the extremely remote tribal Koyanguda village in Bhamragad taluka of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtratra is all set to bring an economic transformation of the villagers.
A charitable organization of West Bengal Raiganj Institute of Inspiration and Empowerment for Livelihood Generation, Kolkata is developing many arts in Koyanguda’s “Devrai Kala Gram” through the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, in which Meenakshi has taken up the responsibility of bamboo art.
The people of this village have been making traditional metal ornaments for hundreds of years for tribals. Now they are being imparted the bamboo crafts training . World famous bamboo artist Meenakshi Mukesh Walke, known as “The Bamboo Lady of Maharashtra”, has become the pioneer of this initiative. Meenakshi has done innovative experiments and some research in bamboo design, has made around 1100 tribal underprivileged women self-sufficient in the last 5 years through her training camps.
Ms. Ananya Dey and Subir Roy of the Institute are supporting Suresh Pungati of “Devrai”. It is worth mentioning that Bamboo Lady Meenakshi had given 40 days residential training to 25 young men and women from Naxal-affected areas in Gadchiroli through the Forest Department earlier too. Meenakshi, the only bamboo artisan in the country who received “IIW awards” in the House of Commons, Parliament of England, has taught bamboo tricks to 360 women in the remote village situated on the border of Bangladesh and Bhutan in the month of January itself.
There are only two villages in Maharashtra where “Otkar” community lives. This community has been making traditional metal ornaments for tribal women for centuries. Originally this community is not a tribal, but now it has started living as a tribal. Not only this, this community has even adopted the surname of the local tribals. One of the specialties of this village is that it is adjacent to the Hemalkasa project of renowned social worker Dr. Prakash Amte.
We are excited about the arrival of Bamboo Lady Meenakshi Walke, who goes to any corner of the country and teaches her skills to the tribal-disadvantaged women in Koyanguda. No international level coach wants to come to a very remote village away from service facilities. Meenakshi accepted this challenge due to which we are overwhelmed, said Ms. Ananya Dey of RIIELG organization. However, in the coming time, an optimistic change will be seen from bamboo here, she hoped.