Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra, Lawada

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Source: News Bharati      Date: 8/21/2011 3:43:41 PM

A bamboo house created by Kendra

In order to make baamboo artisans acquire a respectable place in the society and create abundant employment opportunities for the upliftment of rural masses across India, social workers Sunil & Nirupama Deshpande laid the foundation for Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra (SBK) in Melghat’s Lawada tribal village. SBK was started initially as a means to solve the malnutrition problem in the region and to help in improving upon many other social problems prevalent in the region.
Today, with the advent of mass produced goods, artisan based products are having a hard time competing at these price points and hence artisan communities in India and around the world are dwindling. Hence, the ultimate vision behind SBK’s work is to re-establish respect and honour for artisans in society.
With such a deep vision, their work is well beyond the activities of just generating a livelihood in Melghat region; it covers the entire country. SBK is effectively developing a model at Melghat which they hope to spread across India.
This vision has led SBK to generate livelihoods in Melghat region by offering training in bamboo handicraft & housing work to SC and ST youths. Bamboo was chosen as it is an eco-friendly sustainable renewable resource with remarkable strength and flexibility, locally available throughout India and has hundreds of applications for mankind.
Bamboo
Bamboo has traditionally been used for centuries as a building and engineering material and in everyday items in various parts of world and in India. Bamboo’s main benefit is its amazing strength as compared to wood, metal and steel. The structure of bamboo with its long tubular fibers densely packed and bonded with starch give it amazing strength properties. So, bamboo has an adequate strength to be used as a structural material. It is the fastest-growing grass in the world, having a recorded 120 cm growth in 24 hours period (during peak growth period).
India has the 2nd largest amount of natural bamboo in the world, hence this plentiful supply of bamboo in India helps to keep price down compared to other materials. Availability in almost all parts of India eliminates expensive transport charges, allowing bamboo to be considered a local material all over the country.
Bamboo can be processed using very simple tools and skills which are found throughout rural India. Traditional bamboo artisan communities that exist around India already possess more than the required skills to work on bamboo. Hence, employment can be extended to existing communities and to new communities, helping to generate income in rural India. Another added benefit of minimal processing needed to use bamboo is the lack of need for heavy machinery which reduces cost of home and minimizes the amount of energy needed to construct a bamboo home.
Activities:
SBK organizes 1-month, 3-month & 6-month bamboo handicraft training for tribal youths in Lawada and various villages of the Melghat. Venu Shilpi Aaudyogik Sahakari Sanstha (Artisans Cooperative) was established in 1998 by 15 artisans and helps artisans in marketing their handicrafts. 94 karigar panchayats were organized in Melghat to fight for artisan rights and work to change government policies to be more artisan supportive. Self help groups of artisans have been established. SBK has also built a team of trained youths to construct bamboo houses in different parts of Maharashtra, MP, UP, Gujarat and Jharkhand. It also aims at establishing 100 SHGs for tribal women. NABARD has also supported this activity. Micro-planning  activity has been carried out in 28 villages in Melghat with guidance and support from Koshish, a district-level network of NGO and UNICEF.
Services:
A team of SBK artisans, designers and engineers offer a variety of services to help create just about anything you can dream of. You can place order to create a unique product or home that you cannot find anywhere else. SBK team can design a structure of eco-friendly bamboo houses and buildings that meets your requirements and then the experienced bamboo artisans can bring those designs to life.
Contact:
Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra (SBK)
Lawada, Post Duni
Tehsil Dharni, District Amravati
Maharashtra, India 
Pin: 444702
Email: sampoornabamboo@gmail.com
Mobile no: 9421825926
Alternate mobile nos: 09421825925, 09421825970, 07226-202370 (landline)
Contact person :
Mr. Sunil Deshpande
How to reach:

Dharni is located at a distance of 148 km from Amravati. After reaching Dharni, one can reach Lawada village by private transport.
Amravati by air: Nearest airport is Nagpur Airport at a distance of 155 km. Nagpur Airport is well connected to other parts of India.
By train: Amravati is situated on the branch line from Badnera on Bhusawal - Nagpur section of Mumbai (CSTM) - Howrah main railway line of Central Railways.
By road: Amravati is well connected to other parts of Maharashtra by a wide network of roads. State Transport buses are readily available.
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