Bamboo products from Vidarbha, made by local artisans, would be promoted and sold from Nagpur railway station for a fortnight from March 25 onwards under ‘one station, one product’ scheme launched in the Union budget. Nagpur railway station was one of the 16 stations in the country, and the only one in Maharashtra, to be selected by the railway board for the pilot project.
With the option offered to the Central Railway’s Nagpur division to launch the ‘one station, one product’ scheme, the local authorities have pushed bamboo products to promote the indigenous craft of Vidarbha. Applications have now been invited from registered NGOs, local artisan bodies, associations, private groups and so on to showcase their bamboo products for free in an exhibition-cum-sale format on the railway station.
Sources in the railways said the decision to promote Vidarbha’s bamboo products was taken in view of deep cultural linkage with the region and also to boost local skills and crafts for market development. “The bamboo products also have linkage with tribal livelihood and their culture,” said a railway official adding the project is being developed under divisional railway manager (DRM) Richa Khare and senior divisional commercial manager Krishnath Patil and his team, including chief commercial manager Taraprasad Acharya.
Sources said space on platform number one and also on the combined platform numbers two and three has been earmarked for bamboo project. “The bulk of trains on the north-south grid pass through the combined platform number two and three, where the maximum attention can be expected to be drawn,” said the railway source, adding the main objective is to introduce Vidarbha’s bamboo products and their exclusive designs and craft to the rest of the India. This is to boost rural and semi-rural economy revolving around bamboo cultivation and products.
“The local skill development and employment generation is the ultimate goal apart from generating awareness and attraction for Vidarbha’s culture surrounding it’s superior bamboo and products,” said the official, adding there is already a plan in place to have a permanent stall or outlet of bamboo products on the railway station in the long run.