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Bamboo furniture popular in Salem
by Jai Kumar

     Salem (Tamil Nadu): The craft of making eco-friendly furniture from bamboo is helping generate employment in Salem of Tamil Nadu. The craft was brought from Tripura initially but has adapted well in the state. The bamboo crop was brought from Tripura around three years back. A group of young men now grow the bamboo and manufacture bamboo furniture. "This furniture has become more in demand nowadays because people have become more conscious about using green and eco-friendly material. This furniture also has adaptability to all kinds of use," said Piyush, owner of a bamboo-manufacturing unit. Initially, the artisans were brought from Tripura, but now local artisans are being trained in the craft. The business is involving more and more residents in growing bamboo and setting up furniture manufacturing units. "The solid bamboo business is operating in Salem like in Tripura. The bamboo is really good. We work on the same bamboo in Tripura too," said Anil, an artisan, who had come from Tripura. Various products such as tables, chairs, showcases, cupboards and hangers are manufactured in these units. The marketing of these products is also easy. The businessmen believe that the government especially the forest department is though not being too cooperative. There has to be prior permission to bring down the bamboo from the forest department. Getting these permissions is a difficult task. "I really feel very discouraged because of the total lack of support from the government. No one is asking the government for support. We can train more farmers. We can set up other small-scale bamboo businesses," added Piyush. Even women are getting employment from the business by working at the units. Small-scale industries in India have been encouraged to generate employment and promote regional growth. The bamboo furniture manufacturing business that is serving these basic purposes is expected to flourish, as the demand for such furniture is high.
-Apr 17, 2009

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