Jammu Bamboo in search of Godfather || Bhushan Parimoo || LIVE IMAGE

Major Dhyan Chand || Jammu  Bamboo  in search of Godfather || Bhushan Parimoo || LIVE IMAGE 

Hockey stick  in  the hands of  late Dhyan Chand   Mesmerizing  stick work ,was made of  jammu  raw material  , manufactured in Sailkote  .Which earned him the name of Wizard, Three Olympic gold medals , 1928, 32 and 36 more than 400 goals] during his international career .

Hockey stick handle of Jasrota  bamboo and mulberry/ khair (Acacia catechu) blade from this state, together has created a niche in the sports world, for its durability dependence thus preferred it by the hockey players till partition, Willow and bamboo badminton rackets were also much sought after, Sailkote , in neighborhood had an monopoly,  in sports manufacturing industry since 1919, The world's largest production center for badminton, hockey, football, volleyball, basketball, and cricket equipment. And raw material was imported from Jammu  for Hockey sticks and badminton rackets, willow from Kashmir for cricket bats.

Partition of the country Sailkote  on other side not only  dried the export avenues  for raw material from this state but northern India was left with without any sports industry, After Post independence sports industry developed first in Jalandhar further expanded to Meerut .

State of Jammu and Kashmir which had till then monopoly on world class raw  material , for hockey sticks, badminton rackets and cricket bats, did nothing to seize this opportunity, as blessing and establish Sports industry in the State  itself nearer the availability of raw material. Bamboo of local specie  which had stood the test of completion,spread over thousands Sq km area, starting   from Lakhanpur on right side of NHA1 and Dhar  –Udhampur road up to five thousand feet from mean sea level .

Export of willow wood and semi finished items from Kashmir valley , were banned on public demand  were instrumental to, developed worlds class Cricket Bat manufacturing industry, Whereas , Jammu  , Bamboo did not get any God Father to  find incentive to establish bamboo, mulberry based sports industry despite enormous potential No effort even was made to export semi finished Bamboo  sports item to  nearby sports  industry hub, Jallander just 180 away in Punjab . 

Had import of bamboo  and export of semi finished bamboo goods been , on similar lines as Willow Encouraged  to establish Bamboo based sports industry, and other items, it would had  grown over the period of times, one of the best,Industrial hub Generated incremental job avenues to large section of our  society  Jammu  bamboo has a distinct characteristic of its own which posses better qualities, not found in many of its species elsewhere. 

It requires very less water, with stand harsh climate soil, and stands erect or in a molded condition for lasting effect, It was found use in every item of rural needs, fodder fences, plough handle, cots, baskets, fruit containers, Grain bins, thatching materials, scaffolding,  Moveable stairs walking sticks and many others Bamboo cottage industry was in hands of underprivileged section of our society here, who sustained on demand of bamboo goods of our use Partition was instrumental to close Suchetgarh, bamboo export market closing at to it,   

Bamboo crop both in forest and private got neglected, Secondary management of bamboo forest which is essential part to harvest , the crops, As each individual clumps goes through a 4 to 5 year life cycle, clumps are ideally allowed to reach this level of maturity prior to full capacity harvesting. The clearing out or thinning of clumps, particularly older decaying clumps, helps to ensure adequate light and resources for new growth. In horse shoe manner  Well-maintained clumps may have productivity three to four times that of an unharnessed wild clump.  4-5 years five years, got meshed up, early flowering dried the crops Beside reckless chopping in middle the clumps by tribal to rear Sheep and Goats further devastated it.

Forest department  lackadaisical approach  ,attitude  of  non interference allowed it to carry detrimental bamboo devastation in its own Bamboo forest in Kathua district Which was once called proud  possession  of forest Department , envy to others In 1970,Conservator of forests East, thought to clear meshed dried clumps of bamboo, over an area of 3500 ha in Kathua district, and introduce new crops Clearing proved another disaster, after clearing the bamboos,  department planted new variety of bamboo plus Kher  , and all dried up instead Lantana camara,

A weed grew instead And it gave opportunity to encroaches, to grab forest land as there was no sign of any forest left  Readers may feel  hard to believe,   that while formulating  an action plan  for propagation and development of Bamboo in the country under a scheme called Bamboo Mission under Department of Agriculture, it was surprise to them that Bamboo do exists in Jammu  and Kashmir state Indicating clear that Forest department of our state never thought to preserve , improve our native bamboo stocks, never disseminated information anywhere .

A 100% Centrally Sponsored  Scheme, has been undertaken since 2007-2008, in the country  to build a society of abundance  in which  happiness and  dignity are guaranteed through National Bamboo Mission, under Ministry of Agriculture , associating Environment and Forests,Textiles, Science and Technology, Commerce, Rural Development, Phanchayat Raj,,Urban Development, and Poverty Alleviation, Development of North East Region, Small Scale industries.

Envisaged objectives are to promote growth of bamboo sector, to promote marketing of bamboo and bamboo based handicrafts, to generate employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled persons, especially unemployed youth .

State is provided, just about 1 crores of rupees annually, out of total budget 100 crores per year under Bamboo Mission because  concerned Agriculture ministry had no reliable data.It was news to them that Jammu is know for rich bamboo stocks of its own    Bamboo Mission is divided in to three mini Missions, ,Resaech and Develpoment, Plantaion Development and Handicaft and Marketing and Export .

While we have sufficient stock of bamboo rotting, need of hour is to give pronounced thrust to Handicraft and Marketing and Export is real soul of the project ,to , promote marketing of bamboo and bamboo based handicrafts, to generate employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled persons, especially unemployed youth, is ,on low priority where as it should have been from the very first day, since embarking upon the programme in 2008, allowed to grow in leap and bounds Because raw material is spread to a vast area , so are the skilled hands, All that was needed massive training,  in each village which used to be bamboo craft producing skill holders, , for improving techniques, provided tools cutting machines Produce items as per market demand. 

We get 1 crore pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Dei,Devi shrine, Amarnath Yatra and tourism venues bamboo based item has a vast potential, Waste baskets, Big collection bins instead of steel used by Municipalities, Bamboo bags,even composite bins for urban areas .

Jammu bamboo ,  is subjected to utter willful neglect allowed to die and rots Calls  bold initiative , Make it a peoples movement with government participation Government out of its own cannot do justice to this employment generation program.

General public opinion is that we ,Wlack formidable foresters like Late Sh. Ram Lal Khajuria Sahib CCF who preferred resignation rather than opening JASROTA BAMBOO FORESTS for grazing and didn't succumbed to the pressure of then PM Late GM Bakshi Sahib. After that extinction of Bamboo forests commenced.

He as witness and shares by  a well wisher of the Environment protection that house of Khajuria Sahib in Garnal, Billawar is  that of a lintel but CGI sheets. Ihe was astonished to see his house when his father took  him there when he was DFO Billawar Forest Division in 1982. Such a simpleton Khajuria Sahib was. 

Bushan Parimoo

(The writer is a Jammu based environmentalist and a regular contributor to this Website.)
(Feedback at: blparimoo@gmail.com)

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