Plastic use threatens environment friendly bamboo items
November 3, 2016 12:10 AM NPT
By: Jagat Khadka
Jay Bahadur Bohara of Rilu village with bamboo basket on his back. Production of bamboo items is traditional occupation of many in Bajhang district. Photo: Jagat Khadka/Republica
BAJHANG, Oct 29: Jay Bahadur Bohora of Lataun village used to make good money by selling bamboo made items. Since last few years, his bamboo baskets are not much in demand. People have started to store grains and goods rather in tin boxes and plastic bags are preferred as goods carriers. Bohora laments that the traditional occupation is under threat.
“We are even made feel embarrassed while carrying bamboo baskets at the back. People look at us as if we are rustic folks,” said Bohora. “Tin drums and plastics are displacing our baskets,” he added.
The baskets would also be easily exchanged with food grains in the village. Bohora said he did not have to buy much rice, wheat or corn though he was not a farmer. “They would happily exchange grains with our baskets,” said Bohora. “We would take our items to doorsteps and they would happily buy it either for money or grains.”
Bohora said that people have been so obsessed of plastic and tin items that they not only look down upon the sellers like him but also suggest them to give up the 'outdated business.' “They do not realize that we are emotionally attached to it and it is our hard earned skill. Moreover, it is good for environment unlike plastics and tins,” he added.
According to Bohora, youngsters literally laugh at him if they spot him on the way carrying bamboo basket at his back. “They have no respect for labor,” he commented.
Another local of the same village, Chakra Bohora stated that the displacement of bamboo business has put occupation a huge community at risk. “We have no other way of income. Our occupation is in danger,” he said. “There is no employment in village. We are going to starve. We have no option left than to go to golf nations,” Chakra added. Chakra's 13-member-family is solely dependent on bamboo items production.
Meanwhile, a shopkeeper at Jay Prithivi municipality maintained that the bamboo items are less preferred also because it rots easily. “When food grains are stored in tin boxes, there is little chance of that being rotten. But rain and dump easily affect bamboo boxes,” he said.