KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER
Bamboo, one of the most versatile of all grass species in the planet, occupies a fairly important space in almost all cultures and civilizations, especially in Asia. From simple sheds to complex constructions and from pen stands to jewel boxes bamboo can be put to use to create a variety of products. Here we introduce to you Uravu, an NGO working for the uplift of rural areas by providing skill training in turning bamboo to an assortment of utility as well as curio products. Uravu, located in Thrikkaipetta village in Wayanad district of Kerala, promotes social entrepreneurship based on value addition of local natural resources.
Established in 1966, Uravu started its journey as a joint venture by a group of friends and individuals who with their social consciousness and political convictions strived for social well-being and sustainable development. The organisation works with people, governments and private businesses as a development partner.
Uravu aims to establish sustainable micro enterprises in rural areas. Bamboo, the 'green gold', is the main raw material Uravu works with. They concentrate in implementing end-to-end programmes in the bamboo sector. The main focus is on developing bamboo processing skills among rural women through training programmes and introduction of appropriate tools, technologies and processes. The organisation is a boon to the deprived local artisans. The design development and product diversification programmes conducted by Uravu help the artisans to master the crafting of a variety of products from bamboo. The Common Facilities Centre for bamboo processing run by Uravu is also of great help. Uravu Eco Links Ltd., the public limited company promoted by Uravu trust members, assists producer groups in marketing their products.
Uravu also undertakes several projects to protect bamboo as well as other natural resources. A bamboo nursery run by Uravu supplies planting materials of various species to local farmers and conducts mass planting programmes. Uravu also promotes farmers' self-help-groups, floriculture groups etc.