Bad time for bamboo products

Sita Niraula

Taplejung, June 25:

Harka Prasad Ingnam used to earn his livelihood by manufacturing products from bamboo, but now he knits such products only to show his skill to his grandchildren. He had never thought that there would be no takers for the once-popular products. The days when people used to line up to order bamboo products, have gone for good. With the occupation on the verge of extinction, Ingnam is more than worried. He said, “I have started to make fungcho to show my grandchildren how it is made. Fungcho is used in Limbu tradition and the day would not be far when people would forget what it is.” He complained that barely two years ago, people used to order him for different things, but now people ask him questions like ‘what is it’ and ‘what is he doing’.

The major reason for the decrease in the demand of bamboo products is the widespread use of plastic goods in households. Pemba Sherpa of Nighuradi-6 said that cheap plastic materials have overtaken beautiful bamboo goods. Sherpa, who had been eking out his livelihood by selling bamboo goods, said that now children joke about him when he goes to villages with loads of bamboo products to sell. He said that he now feels hatred towards his work and occupation. Ex-VDC chairman, Purna Sitaula also said that people have opted for plastic and other durable materials over bamboo products and agreed that the bamboo goods are no longer the ‘in-thing’ in villages.