Kudumbashree Buds turn to school bamboo handicrafts

A training session on making bamboo handicrafts is underway for students, parents and teachers of Buds Schools managed by Kudumbashree in Malappuram. , Photo Credit: Sakir Hussain

Buds schools run by Kudumbashree for mentally challenged persons across the district have turned to bamboo handicrafts. Kudumbashree completed a four-day training in bamboo handicrafts for its teachers, parents and students of Buds Schools.

Buds Schools are self-employed units managed by senior students and their parents. Kudumbashree has spent ₹42 lakh on 30 such units over the years. Kudumbashree District Mission Coordinator Zafar K. Kakkooth said that the remaining 31 Buds schools would get financial help to start self-employment units this year.

Handicrafts training from palm leaves, clay and other recyclable materials was imparted to students, teachers and parents in two batches sometime back. Kudumbashree also started trust shops to sell products made by mentally challenged persons. “The trust shops are different from the regular sales centers in Kudumbashree,” said Mr. Kakkuth.

Trust shops are nontrivial outlets for selling Kudumbashree products, where people can take home items of their choice and deposit their value in a box. “It is an experiment on the integrity of the people. It has been a huge hit,” Mr. Kakkooth said.

Malappuram district has nine trust shops, including one in the collectorate, and all of them are functioning smoothly.

Using bamboo, Buds School will produce small baskets, fancy boxes, lamp shades, bangles, utensils like spoons and items like steam cake or puttu maker.

Trainers KP Krishnankutty, Ramakrishnan and Praveen Kumar led the training sessions on the second day.

Mister. Kokkooth inaugurated the training programme. Kudumbashree District Program Manager KS Haskar, other Kudumbashree officials C. Rafiq, E. Saji and P. Kaulath participated in the programme.

Mr. Kokkuth said that Kudumbashree would tie up with the Forest Department and the Kerala State Bamboo Corporation to ensure availability of the resource material.