Mela showcases bamboo and its uses

It is a well-documented fact that bamboo has many uses, both on the household front and for agricultural purposes. Most farmers in the Sirsi region use bamboo for building their homes. Then, there are those who use bamboo artefacts as decorative elements.
The usefulness of bamboo was driven home at a unique mela organised at Sirsi in Uttara Kannada district recently. The purpose of the mela was also to enlighten farmers about bamboo cultivation. Take Krishna Hegde, an agriculturist, for instance. He explains that, “bamboo is a product that can help an agriculturist in times of need.”

Akara Balaga, a Sirsi group worked hard to showcase many artistic items made out of bamboo at the mela for two days. Joining hands with the Sirsi association were artisans from Maharashtra, Kerala, Bangalore, Shimoga, Haveri and Haliyal. Several self-help groups showcased the possibilities that bamboo applications have. They exhibited gift articles, key chains, bangles, flower vases, card holders, files, bed lamps etc as part of the mela.

The Forest Department was prompted to send a proposal seeking that restrictions on growing and marketing bamboo be cleared, at a seminar organised on the occasion. The National Bamboo Mission has assured the Department and growers of providing assistance to encourage bamboo culture, especially with reference to two varieties namely Oxystenanthera stoxii and Burma bamboo. The Forest Department said it would encourage bamboo cultivation in betta land by providing saplings to farmers. The climatic conditions of the Malnad region is congenial for cultivation of bamboo much like the North-Eastern parts of the country, the Department pointed out.
Sandhya Hegde Almane  

Celebration of folk  arts and games
Uttara Kannada is well-known for its festivals and traditions revolving around its tribal communities, including Komara Pantha, Mukari, Namdhari and Harikantra.

The harvest dance performances of the Halakki Vokkaliga community is particularly interesting. This is celebrated during Holi. The communities here have other folk events and games such as Karadi Habba, Bandi Habba, Bingi Pada, Halage Kunita and Badagu Tittu Yakshagana. The region is also well-known for its Yakshagana artistes such as the late Keremane Shivaram Hegde, the late Shambhu Hegde, late Mahabala Hegde and Chittani Ramachandra Hegde.

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