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HomeAnimalHow a Tribal Girl’s ‘Bamboo Kandils’ Captured the World Stage

How a Tribal Girl’s ‘Bamboo Kandils’ Captured the World Stage


Homemaker, mom and bamboo artist, Namita Namdev Bhurkood of Maharashtra’s Tetwali village has educated 57 tribal girls in making Diwali kandils which have a requirement within the UK and US too.

Coming from a small village known as Tetwali in Maharashtra, Namita Namdev Bhurkood realized one of many extra emphasised roles rising up — being a good homemaker. What she didn’t realise for a very long time was that she may be the breadwinner of a house.

As she rightly places it, life is generally about “rediscovering your self” each different day. Now, she finds herself in multiple function — a mom, a homemaker, a bamboo artist, in addition to the president of the ladies’s self-help group within the village.

This group transforms bamboo into lovely merchandise — equivalent to kandils (sky lanterns), cellphone holders, rakhis, dustbins, picture frames, carts, hangers, keychains and way more. Lately, she led a gaggle of seven girls on the G20 Summit in India to showcase their merchandise.

“It felt like we had been in a film. There have been leaders and influential folks throughout us. By no means in my goals had I imagined that I’d be in a spot like that, not to mention lead a crew,” Namita tells The Higher India.

This Diwali, the group was capable of promote over 3,000 kandils. “Our merchandise are bought everywhere in the world together with international locations just like the US, UK, Australia and Canada,” she informs. 

From distant villages to G20

Namita’s journey in direction of independence is a narrative infused with doses of inspiration and self-belief.

Recalling her days earlier than she realized the craft of bamboo, she says, “My days would largely revolve round cleansing, cooking, and taking good care of my household. I’d be part of my husband within the fields, however that was it,” says the 29-year-old.

Namita Namdev selling bamboo products.
Namita Namdev sells handcrafted bamboo merchandise. Image credit score: Namita

Their earnings from farming weren’t sufficient to help a joint household. “My husband and his brother would work arduous within the subject, however there was by no means sufficient cash to maintain comfortably,” she says. “Moreover, the yield would all the time rely upon the local weather and a variety of different components. So, I needed to contribute to the earnings however was unsure how to try this.”

It was in 2001 when Namita noticed a glimmer of hope. “Different girls within the village, who had been offering coaching in making bamboo merchandise, knowledgeable me that they might additionally provide employment as soon as we accomplished our coaching,” she says.

Nonetheless, her enthusiasm was curbed by the folks round her. “The neighbours and our household pals had been towards sending the ladies of the home exterior to work. They doubted our potential to earn something, however my mother-in-law stood up for us,” she says.

By then, each Namita and her sister-in-law had additionally assumed the function of moms and had further obligations. “Our husbands and my mother-in-law determined to point out religion in us and gave us immense help to go for the coaching,” she says.

“My mother-in-law would care for our youngsters once we attended the coaching periods. She would additionally assist us in family work and guarantee we had sufficient time to excellent our craft,” she provides.

The coaching was being held by an NGO known as ‘Keshav Srushti’ headed by Gaurav Shrivastava. It was an initiative to advertise girls’s empowerment and make them financially impartial.

Talking concerning the initiative, Gaurav says, “The initiative started to empower tribal girls financially within the area. Regardless of plentiful bamboo manufacturing, it wasn’t utilised successfully. Due to this fact, I organised self-help teams to coach girls in creating bamboo merchandise, which might then be bought nationwide.”

Namita has trained over 57 women from around her village
Namita has educated over 57 girls from round her village. Image credit score: Namita Namdev

He additional informs that this Diwali, they bought greater than 3,000 bamboo kandils. “Our merchandise should not solely bought in India however all through the world. We now have 23 villages and 700 girls making bamboo merchandise for us,” he says.

Speaking concerning the merchandise, Gaurav notes, “The initiative’s major aim was all the time to offer different livelihood to tribal girls, however we additionally needed to deliver different eco-friendly merchandise into the market. All our merchandise are pure and made 100% out of bamboo. We wish to unfold the message of sustainability too with our initiative.”

‘I deliver the second earnings in my house’

The coaching interval was about 30 days lengthy, says Namita. “When Gaurav sir requested us what are the makes use of of bamboo, I used to be unsure how you can reply his query. We might generally use it to make carriers however that was it. I used to be stunned to see what number of helpful issues will be comprised of bamboo,” she says.

As soon as the coaching interval was over, we began to get some work. “Initially, we used to get fewer orders, however we stored working arduous. Quickly, we obtained extra orders. I had religion that if we stored on working, the demand would enhance and we might make more cash,” she says.

She continues, “Collectively, we now have now established an organization by the title ‘Vikramgad Bamboo Udyog Producer Firm Restricted’ and we are going to quickly be taking orders on-line too.”

On common, Namita now makes a mean of Rs 9,000 each month. “I really feel very proud that I’m able to contribute to the family earnings. I end my family work, then assist my husband with the sector work earlier than continuing to work on the bamboo items,” she says including that the work provides them the pliability to take it up every time they’ve time.

The group makes products such as kandils (sky lanterns), phone holders, rakhis, dustbins, and much more.
The group makes merchandise equivalent to kandils (sky lanterns), cellphone holders, rakhis, dustbins, and way more. Image credit score: Namita Namdev

Namita has additionally educated a number of girls in her village and close by villages within the artwork.

“I would like as many ladies to be impartial as potential. I’ve educated greater than 57 girls to this point and hope to coach extra. With the institution of our firm, we hope to get extra work. Crucial factor is that younger women of the village now don’t take into consideration migrating to the town for work, they keep within the village and make bamboo merchandise,” she shares.

Reflecting on her journey to this point, Namita says, “It isn’t about how a lot I make each month or that I used to be capable of signify our artwork and village on a world stage, however somewhat concerning the confidence it has infused in me. I’d have by no means imagined myself doing any of these items as a baby, however at present, right here I’m! I would like each lady to expertise this independence.”

Wish to take a look at their merchandise? Click on right here to go to their web site.

(Edited by Pranita Bhat)





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