(Artefacts produced by participants during a bamboo weaving workshop in SEA college, Borivali)
All the basic needs of the tribal community of Veti Murbad – the village in which we have our office – were managed locally by using resources from the forests and through pre-industrialization and pre-globalization farming techniques. Whether it is Warli Art from rice flour, alcohol from various fruits, medicines from forest herbs, houses and tools from reeds and wood, clothes from natural and native forest fibers or various bamboo artefacts – we can witness how the tribal community, through ingenious skills, enables the sustainable usage of biodiversity within that context. As inter-generational availability of all such resources had to be maintained, sustainable use also translated into sustainable conservation.
(Bamboo weaving workshop at Tamarind tree school, Dahanu)
However, with the increasing consumption of industrial products due to the propagation of their supposed benefits through media like radio and television, more and more such artefacts were either eliminated from the daily life in the tribal society or replaced with industrial alternatives. We at Design Jatra feel that revival of such skills is one of the ways of the community realizing the importance of their resources. This is the key idea behind the Tokar initiative of Design Jatra.
(Bamboo weaving workshop at the SEA college, Borivali)
Another step in this direction is the bamboo weaving workshop. We try and get bamboo artisans together with participants to learn about and explore various weaves of bamboo that have been practiced traditionally. Participants are made aware about the importance these weaves can have in everyday lives. At the end of the workshop, participants use these weaves to make their own artefact that otherwise would have been made out of an industrial material.