Tripura's eye on eco-friendly: Water bottle made by bamboo hits markets globally

By Our Correspondent

 If you are looking for a backpack-friendly, sleek water bottle, but with the traditional ethnic touch, Tripura is a place you should look to now.

Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana, Tripura started making artisanal handmade bamboo water bottles for the past few months.

Speaking with Tripura chronicle the mastermind behind this unique design Dr. Abhinav Kant, chief of Bamboo and Cane Development Institute (BCDI) in Tripura said, “The problem with the bamboo is, if you store water in a bamboo there will be contamination problem so you can’t use that bamboo made bottle for a longer time and it would be not hygienic as well. So we start doing experimenting and finally, we used glass, copper, steels as an inner lining and used the bamboo as outer lining which will help to prevent fungal growth and leakage. This bottle is a hygienic, a leak-proof bottle which was designed and developed by us”.

Dr Kant said that earlier on January 11 this year the state’s chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb launched this first prototype bamboo bottle developed by BCDI during an event at Prajna Bhawan here.

“The process of manufacturing includes bamboo selection, cross-cutting, processing on turning lathe machine, fixing of the bottle using glue, and finally top coating with gloss or Matt finishes. The demands of the bamboo made bottles are very rich in national markets and now the local artisans are also started making it. Such a product can generate huge employment and livelihood opportunities to artisans in the state”, he told this publication.

He added that the product is being designed and developed by BCDI and Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation (TRPC) is promoting its production and marketing.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on June 26 twitted, “Tripura is proud to introduce variety of unique & eco-friendly hand crafted bamboo made bottles. The bottles made by the bamboo artisans of the state are being developed by Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation (TRPC) in collaboration with BCDI and Forest Research Centre for Livelihood Extension - FRCLE in Tripura. The products are being promoted under Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDVK) and the National Bamboo Mission (NBM) schemes. This industry can create huge employment and livelihood opportunity to thousands of artisans of the state”.

Dr. Kant move to Tripura 11 years back and now working for developing more eco friendly products.

The product came in the lime light after Ravina Tandon praised the initiative and placed an order for herself. Soon after, orders started flooding in, from across the country and abroad.

 

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0’ also spoke about the bamboo made bottles and said, “In the present times of Corona, we have witnessed how the youth & women of our country have come up with new experiments on the basis of their talent & skills….You surely know of Bamboo which grows abundantly in the North East. Now, using the same Bamboo, artisans of Tripura, Manipur and Assam have started crafting high-quality water bottles and Tiffin-boxes. If you glance at the craftsmanship of these bottles, you will not believe that Bamboo can be used to create such fine products. Moreover, these bottles are eco friendly. Before actually making them, the Bamboo is first boiled, adding Neem and other medicinal shrubs. Thus, these bottles also acquire medicinal value”.

Currently, Tripura grows 21 species of bamboo in 3,246 sq. Km area of forests and planned forestry. In 2019, the state government undertook an ambitious plan to bring 15,000-hectare area under bamboo cultivation by involving forest, rural development departments and local communities through incentivized methods.