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Jharcraft, IIT to build on bamboo

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By ARTI S. SAHULIYAR
  • Published 28.10.11
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Organic silk drapes for the classes, affordable and eco-friendly bamboo homes for the masses.

Jharcraft and IIT-Delhi team up to design low-cost bamboo homes for the underprivileged, an initiative that will begin within a week.

IIT-Delhi associate professor (chemical engineering) Dr Sanat Mohanty had an elaborate discussion on this with Jharcraft managing director Dhirendra Kumar in Ranchi on Monday.

Kumar, satisfied with the talks, said they would get technical support from the tech cradle on designing low-cost bamboo houses. “IITians already have designed pre-fabricated bamboo models, which will be judiciously used for low-cost homes,” Kumar said.

He added that these homes would be for people who cannot afford high-rise flats.

Armed with expertise from IIT-Delhi, Jharcraft will focus on Sundarpahari in Godda and Mansaria in Dumka. “We’ll set up bamboo treatment plants in places where it grows in abundance,” he said.

Jharcraft had been making bamboo furniture and handicraft items — it tied up with Guwahati-based Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre and Hyderabad-based National Institute of Rural Development for technical know-how earlier — but making homes with bamboo as construction material is a big leap.

“Bamboo is versatile but under-utilised,” said Kumar, known for his innovative ideas. “By using it to fabricate homes, we will not only put a roof over the heads of the economically weaker sections, but also give employment to many,” he added.

Their bamboo items — furniture, lampshades, pen stands, tablemats and the like — are doing well. “They sell like hot cakes at fairs,” Kumar said, adding that 700 rural artisans were currently designing products.

In fact, designers from National Institute of Design, Bangalore, were roped in to help artisans add creative edge.

“The core hub is Chakulia in West Singhbhum, where rural artisans, on being trained, design furniture and bamboo knick-knacks,” he said.

After Jharcraft jumped on the bamboo bandwagon, there’s no looking back.

“Bamboo’s is vital to fuel the state’s economy,” he said.