Sipahijala (Tripura): Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Friday launched “eco-friendly” bamboo candles and diyas for Diwali and said the move would promote ‘vocal for local’ initiative.
Speaking to reporters, Deb said the initiative can deliver double benefits of cutting down on environmental pollution and providing employment to local artisans.
Crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking special focus in boosting bamboo sector in the North-East, Chief Minister Deb said, “Bamboo is a unique sector and very crucial to NE India which can generate employment. It is eco-friendly and the muli variety of bamboo grows abundantly and fast. PM Modi approved bamboo to be treated as grass instead of trees so that employment is generated”.
Detailing his government’s initiatives to promote bamboo cultivation, Deb said the state government is working to promote self employment with the use of bamboo through Self Help Groups (SHG).
The newly launched bamboo candles comprises shells which can be used multiple times, reducing the use of plastic and other non bio-degradable products.
Few SHGs of the state have recently produced organic jaggery. The chief minister also lauded these initiatives and suggested to market them through bamboo boxes.
Earlier in September and October this year, Tripura launched bamboo shoot cookies, bamboo bottles and ‘bamboo rice’, an exotic variety of rice derived from flower blossoms in bamboo trees. The special rice is claimed to have high protein, anti-joint pain and anti-diabetic benefits.
“We are trying to create different income generation avenues using bamboo since Tripura has an abundant variety of bamboo. We have made bamboo biscuits, bamboo bottles in the past. This rice is made by milling bamboo flowers. It is very helpful against diabetes cholesterol and fat”, Deb said.
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. Nearly 80 percent of this bamboo is muli bamboo. As additional measures, the state government has already taken initiatives to boost bamboo plantations on riverside, roadside and fallow lands.