Many groups from Pauri, Uttarkashi, Tehri and Chamoli districts have brought products made from grass and hemp fibers to the Uttarakhand pavilion in hall number five of the fair. The special thing is that these artists are also giving live training to the people here. In this, they are showing different types of products made by extracting fiber from the stem of Kandali, Munj grass and hemp plants. Besides, slippers are being made from the fibers of Bhimal and lamps and show pieces are being prepared from the stem of the Ringal plant. These products are attracting people.
People are afraid of touching Kandali
People are afraid to touch this special type of Kandali grass found in the hilly forests, but artists are making many things from it and making it a source of income. Artist Bhupendra Singh Rawat, who came from Pauri district, told in the pavilion that this grass grows naturally. After drying its stem, processing is done in the machine. After this a thread is made. One kilogram of thread comes out of four to five kilograms of grass. It costs Rs 900 to Rs 1,000 per meter. Since the fiber is soft, a lot of hard work is required to prepare the cloth. This jacket made of grass makes one feel warm even in 7 degrees Celsius.
employment created for women
A glimpse of the culture of the mountains can be seen in this pavilion promoting handloom and handicrafts. The price of jacket made of Kandali grass fiber starts from three thousand rupees. The jacket made from the fibers of the stem of the hemp plant starts at Rs 5,000. Whereas, basket and diary made of grass starts from two to three hundred rupees. An official of the pavilion said that women are also being provided employment with this grass by selecting different villages across the state. He says that till now more than two thousand rural women have been given employment. People are also increasing their income with slippers, blankets and jackets made of this grass. Preeti, who was selling products made from these at the stall, said that there are 60 women in her group. She says that this grass has solved her financial problems.
Kandali and Munj grass are present in large quantities in the mountains of Uttarakhand. However, climate change is affecting these grasses. In such a situation, artists are making useful things by shaping these fibers with their skills. In mountainous areas, leaves of nettle grass have been used as a green vegetable. However, at present, due to change in people’s lifestyle and eating habits, only a select few people use it as a vegetable. Amar Singh, who came from Dehradun to the fair, told that the taste of Kandali vegetable is completely different from other vegetables. It has high amount of nutrients. He says that he never thought that a local thing would leave such an impact on the international level.
The work is being done keeping in mind one district, two products. Villagers are actively participating in this. Due to this they are also getting employment. He told that these jackets are being promoted not only in the country but also abroad. People are liking it very much. -Pradeep Negi, Pavilion Director, Uttarakhand