Rayagada: Bamboo craft has created a sense of self-independence among 20 college-going girls in a tribal-dominated area in Rayagada district.
The girls from Chandili village in Kolanara block have been making bamboo jewellery since the lockdown to earn money to help their families financially.
The girls work under the aegis of Maa Santoshi Self Help Group (SHG) and are helped in the endeavour by Sparsh, an NGO that is the CSR implementing agent of JK Paper Mills.
“During the lockdown, these girls were sitting ideal at home. With the help of Sparsh, they got this work. They underwent training on making of bamboo ornaments with the help of NIFT. Now, they can earn something and help their family financially,” said Deputy Manager (CSR) of JK Paper Mills Harihar Khamari.
The girls use modern techniques to make bamboo jewellery such as head clips, bangles, earrings, neck pieces, etc. according to the trends among youths, Khamari added.
One of the girls, Raili Kilisika, informed, “Initially, 25 girls had joined this work. Out of them, 20 girls are working now. We all are students. After our studies, we give time to jewellery making.”
Raili said the ornaments made of bamboo are eco-friendly too. “Instead of using plastic-made jewellery, we should use these eco-friendly ornaments,” she added.
Explaining the process of making the ornament, another girl Gupteswari Wadka said, “To make the ornaments hygienic, we boil the bamboo in neem, soda and salt. Then we dry it. We repeat the same process to make the ornaments more hygienic so that the wearers don’t get allergies.”
Gupteswari said it is a big opportunity for them. “It is really difficult to get a job these days. We can do this work at home after taking care of household chores. We can earn something and help our family members,” she said.
Another girl employed in making bamboo ornaments Sandhya Pulaka said, “Though institutions like ORMAS is helping us, proper marketing should be done for these items. It should reach more places.”