Amid rising demand for sustainable alternatives in daily life, Tripura's artisanal bamboo water bottles have become a hit across the country.
For the past six months, the state had been working to manufacture the bamboo water bottles, along the lines of the Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana. On Monday, June 29, the first batch of around 100 bottles was shipped to various parts of the country.
A big surge in the popularity of the eco-friendly bottles came after Bollywood actor Raveena Tandon ordered one last week.
Just ordering mine! Have you? pic.twitter.com/r6b0efE9FC— Raveena Tandon (@TandonRaveena) June 26, 2020
The project is the brainchild of Prasada Rao Vaddarapu, an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer and Chairperson of Tripura Rehabilitation Plantation Corporation (TRPC). The officer launched the project after designing a number of prototypes, researching available literature, and with the help from Bamboo and Crafts Development Institute (BCDI) and Centre of Forest Livelihood and Extension (CFRE).
As part of the project, 10 traditional artisans from Simna, Mohanpur, Subalsingh para and other villages of West Tripura, Khowai districts, were also roped in.
The sustainable and organic bottles meet all modern export standards and at the same time generate huge employment and livelihood opportunities to the artisans in the state.
Introducing the bottles on social media on June 26, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted, "Tripura is proud to introduce variety of unique & eco-friendly hand crafted bamboo made bottles. The bottles made by the bamboo artisans of the state are being developed by TRPC in collaboration with BCDI and FRCLE in Tripura. The products are being promoted under PMVDVK and NBM schemes. This industry can create huge employment and livelihood opportunity to thousands of artisans of the state."
According to Prasada Rao, these bottles are superior to those available in the market.
"It is a unique project. There are some bamboo bottles from China available in the market but those use cheap and light bamboo columns to make the bottle. Water or other liquid is directly stored in them, leading to bad odour, fungi build-up that might be toxic for the body," Prasada Rao told The Indian Express.
TRPC's flagship Van Dhan bamboo bottles are available in two variants – copper containers or thermal flasks. Both variants are encased within treated bamboo columns. They are leakproof and are available in four sizes - 300ml, 500 ml, 750 ml and 1000 ml. They are priced between ₹700 and ₹1200, excluding tax and shipping charges."The process of manufacturing is completely organic, including the bamboo treating procedure. Instead of bleaching powder and other chemicals usually used to treat bamboo, it uses neem, turmeric and other herbal items to treat the product. We are promoting copper containers in them since copper is traditionally known to have many medicinal benefits," Aldrin Majumder, chief of Pegasus Corporation, which is in charge of sales, marketing, branding and promotion said.