Do you want to have a glimpse of Mural paintings? Have you ever wondered how the beautiful bamboo lamp shades are made? Don’t you want to know the stories of those multi fashioned jute bags. To have this amazing experience, I landed in God’s own country, Kerala. I headed towards Thrikkaipetta from Kalpatta. Finally, I reached the main center of Uravu "The Bamboo Village"where Baburaj M, president of Uravu gave me a warm welcome. He is an organic farmer and a teacher.
Uravu started with a small shop of different spices. Surrounded by the green lustre, Uravu became the home of many artisans. Baburaj made me feel comfortable and started with the story of Uravu’s origin. He was very proud of the organisation.
Some group of friends, individuals with a motive of generating employment to local people, awareness of organic farming gave birth to Uravu in 1960 under the Indian Trusts Act. Uravu’s main sector of growth is “Bamboo” which is also known as the “Green Gold”. Uravu provides technical training and thus employment to most of the local people which include women too. Uravu conducts design development and product diversification programs for artisans and runs a Common Facilities Center for Bamboo processing.
Baburaj explained the reason of choosing Bamboo because of its easy availability, easy cultivable nature with minimal water and it is environment friendly. He took me to a Bamboo nursery which includes different species of Bamboo. He took me on a round of Uravu. This includes different sections. Some were designing beautiful home decors, bamboo pens, bamboo masks, bamboo blinds, Table Mats, Bamboo Ornaments, Lampshades and much more. My eyes got stuck on the Mural Paintings that were carved on the Bamboo jewelry. I couldn’t resist myself to buy that beautiful handicraft. There were artisans who were involved in making furniture also and on the other side a workshop was going on with an experienced teacher with around 25 locals.
Baburaj then took me to a different section where the artisans were busy in preparing jute and bamboo file folders and bags. Those were so elegant and spectacular. Uravu also conducted many exhibitions with their amazing products. Bamboo ornaments, mural paintings, Bamboo shoot pickle and Bamboo Rice. It uses every opportunity to promote their products. By seeing the good deeds towards society, government also supports them by giving permission to cut Bamboo. Uravu not only produces these products but also promotes tourism. They have nice Bamboo home stays which are a great place to spend the holiday season.
In 2006, Uravu got an entrance to Limca Book of Records through the Jack fruit festival that is held in the month of May and June. They display around 100 items of Jack fruit which are prepared by locals and Uravu helps in selling and promoting them. As other organisation, Uravu also face some challenges, employment retention is one of the greatest challenge that Uravu face till now.
Each product of Uravu tells you a story. A story which was never told a story of labour and hard work of every common man and a woman who chose this alternative way of living. I am sure that this place will give you a feeling of ecstasy. Come and do visit the place but do not forget to appreciate the hard work.