Bamboo artisans face hard times

Bamboo craftsmen in Bagepalli are facing hard times. On the one hand, it is difficult to get their raw material, bamboo. On the other hand it is difficult to find a market for their products.

The demand for household articles made from bamboo is on the decline. Their fate hangs in the balance.

Craftsmen living near H N circle, who earn their livelihood by bamboo craft are facing a losing battle against changing times. 

They make household articles such as baskets, ladder, flat circular baskets for rearing of silk worms, winnowing baskets and bamboo cradles. 

Many years ago, these craftsmen came as migrants from Andhra Pradesh and engaged themselves in bamboo craft. They have to go in search of bamboo, the supply of which has drastically declined.

Bamboo which is often sourced from Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Bhadravati and Tarikere is not easily available. Even if the bamboo has fallen after flowering the Forest Department does not permit the transportation of the same. The shortage of bamboo has existed since 2001.

The demand for baskets for rearing of silkworms has also declined as sericulture is on the decline due to collapse in prices. Consequently, the few sericulturists who buy these baskets bargain for a low price.

These craftsmen belong to the Medara community. The people of this community are culturally, socially, educationally and economically very backward and eke out their livelihood often by collecting minor forest produce like bamboo. The traditional occupation of this community is bamboo basketry.

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