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Khandre announces Rs 1 crore grant to lantana handicraft artisans

Lantana camara is collected by the indigenous people after which they remove the flowers and boil them in water for two hours. They later peel off the outer layer of the weed before fitting and nailing them onto metal frames.
Last Updated 22 February 2024, 21:49 IST

Bengaluru, DHNS: Forest Minister Eshwar Khandre on Thursday announced that a grant of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore will be made available for the makers of furniture and crafts from lantana camara, an invasive weed species, in the current financial year. 

Addressing over 150 indigenous people from Soliga, Betta Kuruba, Kattunayakan and Paniya communities at Lalbagh Botanical Garden in Bengaluru on Thursday,  he said that policies and guidelines will be formed to encourage communities that make lantana elephants. 

Lalbagh is displaying 60 life-size lantana elephants for a period of a month, starting from February 3 to March 3, revealing the arduous journey involved in its making. 

Lantana camara is collected by the indigenous people after which they remove the flowers and boil them in water for two hours. They later peel off the outer layer of the weed before fitting and nailing them onto metal frames. 

Acknowledging the prolonged efforts of the craftsmen, Khandre said, "Each and every organism on this earth has the right to live. We build lives not by destroying forest resources, but by preserving them. Therefore, the items you have produced using lantana, be it the furniture or the elephants, require a huge amount of publicity and awareness campaigns."

Further, he urged the environmentalists and forest department authorities to conduct rigorous awareness campaigns in this regard to attract wider publicity.  "I urge all the environmentalists and forest department officials to spread awareness on the making of lantana furniture and crafts. This will enable the makers to receive more incentives from industrialists, cooperative societies and the government to produce more of these," he said.

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(Published 22 February 2024, 21:49 IST)

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