Even today, tribal societies share a deep symbiotic relationship with the biodiversity around their habitat. Tribal cultures find use for almost all the species that occur in the surrounding forests. It is because of this utility, they value these species and also conserve them. Hidden in this balancing act of conservation, are lessons towards sustainable resource use and cross generational resource equity.
However, due to the ingress of modern monetary economy and modern products, the links of tribal societies with biodiversity now face a slow rupture. A lot of tribal forests are degraded as these cultures have stopped using them and hence stopped valuing them. In many tribal societies today, forests are no longer an intrinsic source of survival resources and hence, forests and ecologies face a danger of degradation.
“Tokar Bamboo Ecoart” is a social enterprise of Design Jatra that works hand in hand with tribal communities of Dahanu and aims towards reversing this trend. Started in 2018, Tokar seeks inspiration from traditional tribal craft and product making. Tokar aims at innovatively giving these crafts a new life, to suit modern day lifestyle of both tribals and city dwellers. The result of this exercise is hand crafted, detailed utilitarian products made from natural materials
These crafts majorly use resources from the context around the tribal village thus promoting usage of both local natural materials and local skills. New and refined skills too are incorporated in the process.
These products are intrinsically eco- friendly and they blow life to a dying rural economy. A part of the cost that the consumer pays while buying Tokar products, goes in skill building and resource reconstruction, thus completing the circle.
Inter – generational dialogue between the skilled tribal and the young learners has brought a new life to the community interaction. Immigration of youth outside the village has also seen a slight downfall.
Disappearing bamboo resource and bamboo weaving skills have seen a revival in the past 2 years. Local bamboo species of Manvel bamboo have been planted by the youth for future consumption as well.
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