Bhubaneswar: A one-day state level workshop organised by Sparsh Foundation of JK Paper in collaboration with NABARD decided to set up an Odisha Bamboo Resource Centre (OBRC) as a collaborative platform to take up research, advocacy and project implementation initiatives in the bamboo sector of Odisha.
At this workshop that focussed on the bamboo sector in Odisha, leading national and regional experts deliberated upon the state of the bamboo economy and its future prospects and its associated challenges and bottlenecks. OBRC will be a glocal platform which would learn from global best practices and adopt and customise to Odisha’s local requirements, informed Prof Prafulla Dhal, the GM of JK Paper and Head of its Odisha CSR and the organiser of this workshop while speaking to the media here at Suryansh Hotel in the city.
The deliberations in five intensive sessions focused on understanding the utility of the bamboo in our lives, dissected the opportunities for livelihood promotion and developing a bamboo startup culture and suggested strategies on how best to increase corporate funding into the sector. CSR was identified as one important area where more consolidation of activities on the bamboo sector can work wonders in giving a fresh lease of life to the bamboo sector that is now considered as the green gold and wonder grass especially after it has been classified as a grass and not a tree. A Chandrasekhar, CGM, NABARD appreciated the effort of the organisers and announced to work with farmers producing companies, banks and state government agencies to ensure collateral-free loans to farmers to cultivate bamboo in non-forest areas and make bamboo cultivation commercially viable.
Several notable bamboo experts like Dr. BN Mohanty from IPIRTI, Bangalore, Mr. Pankaj Arora from Bamboo Initiative of Haryana, Harish Dash from the United States, Janmejay Mohanty of Auroville Bamboo Centre, Puducherry, Dr. N Barathi of Growmore from Hosur, Tamilnadu, Prof Nirakar Bhol of OUAT Bhubaneswar, Dhruba Charan Bal, DGM, Agri Finance, SBI, Bhubaneswar, Dr. Ambika Nanda, Head CSR, Tata Steel, Biswajit Dwivedi, VP, JKPM, Basanta Kumar Dash Director, Handicraft & Cottage Industries, Government of Odisha, Prof Binay Jena, Director of NIFT Bhubaneswar, PK Mohapatra, DGM, NABARD, Odisha, A Chandrasekhar, CGM, NABARD, Odisha, Kapil Kaul, Head CSR, JK Group, Prof Srinivas Subbarao of Sri Sri University and Dr. Ambika Nanda of Tata Steel et al argued strongly in favour of bamboo’s huge utility as a handy household product having large scale industrial use as well. The experts focused on the huge potential of bamboo in uplifting people out of poverty, provide them a sustainable livelihood while making a gigantic contribution to India’s commitment to fight climate change.
Mr. Kamesh Salam, a leading international bamboo expert sent a goodwill message in congratulating the workshop organisers and expressed willingness to contribute to strengthening institution building and capacity development to promote the bamboo economy in Odisha.
Representatives of industry bodies like World Trade Centre Bhubaneswar and experts from corporate houses like JKPM, Dalmia, Tata Trust participated in the deliberations and stakeholder consultations. Sri Sri University joined as an academic partner and Inksand Art and Crafts India joined as an eco-friendly product partner. Kamala Kanta Dash was the anchor and student volunteers from Sri Sri University extended crucial support in writing session summaries and engagement with the participants. Prof Dhal offered the formal vote of thanks.