As part of our field visit I had an opportunity to visit a village called Champi. This is a small community called ‘Turi” and their main occupation are to weave basket and sell it in the local market.
The tradition came to this community when there were lots of bamboos in the village and they developed the indigenous habit of weaving basket many generations back. When asked, where do they get bamboo from ? they told me that lots of bamboo bushes used to be there in the village but now they are buying it from neighboring villages to do their occupation.
In 1980s, government gave permission to some paper factories to use bamboo from the forest for paper production which turned forest full of bamboo into wasteland. Even though they buy bamboo to do the occupation they can’t leave the habit of weaving because it is their tradition and it is the way to remember their ancestors and ancient act.
But the question is how long it would continue? When asked they said only way to save this indigenous occupation is plantation. They have the answer! But who will do it? They have to do it but they need help! This is another responsibility for us now to help this community to save their occupation by helping them to save the forest and ultimately conserve environment. Livelihood through a proper management is the answer for long term development of the community.