Natural fibers have been traditionally used all over the world by various cultures and people in order to meet their basic requirements of storage, building material, worship and for items of daily use. People in olden times used various kinds of natural fibers depending on their local availability. A variety of natural fibers are available in abundance in several parts of the country, and thus the scope of crafts based on these is huge. Bamboo is one of the abundant and widely used natural fiber in India. In Kerala, bamboos are found in abundance in the forest and home gardens. Apart from other places Wayanad is one of the major districts in Kerala known for its thick bamboo forest. There are around 25 variety of bamboos found and used in various form in Wayanad district of Kerala. These bamboos are grown either in forest on large scale or in homesteads on smaller scale. Other than this many government agencies are also involved in the production of bamboo. These agencies mainly focus of the rare species of bamboos.
Wayanad is in the north-eastern part of Kerala. Bamboo is an integral part of the rural economy of Kerala. Bamboo craft is also increasingly important as it is providing part-time employment to many cultivators in the lean season, and also generating livelihood for a large amount of artisans. Various government agencies have come up with several policies to upgrade bamboo craft and plantation in the area.
URAVU is a registered non-profit organization based in Thrikkaipetta village in Wayanad district, Kerala. The organization focuses on working in field based research, promoting various policies, their implementation, product development etc. The aim of the organization is to create sustainable development plan which could help in preventing ecological mishap and economic backwardness. URAVU center its development policies in a way so that they can generate various beneficial opportunities for the artisan’s communities, tribal, women etc. Today URAVU has 10 micro enterprises consisting of 20 members each running successfully under them. There are around 200 artisans involved in these clusters out of which 90% are women. The group is an amalgamation of people from different genre, traditional artisans, indigenous tribal people, and women from non-artisan background. URAVU is one of the largest employment generation bodies in the district.