Bamboo is an important resource in our socio-economic and cultural context. It is fast growing, widespread, renewable, versatile and environment-enhancing resource. Apart from its traditional uses, bamboo has various new applications as an alternative to rapidly depleting wood resources and as an option to many expensive construction and furnishing materials.
It is interesting to note that, Meghalaya is richly endowed with the bamboo forests. Its abundance and multiple uses have led bamboo to play a pivotal role in the socio-economic and cultural life of the tribal people of the state. It finds varied uses like construction material, in making of diverse implements for agriculture, fishing and cattle rearing and the simple household items like utensils small furniture etc. Livelihood of significant population in the state is dependent on the handicrafts made of bamboo.
The painting here speaks volume of how this abundant natural resource is being transported from the Hills of Garo land to the people in the plains. This system enables one to transport bamboo through the river way very easily and of course, less expensive. The bamboo industry in the region is not only a resource in itself, but it has well enhanced the economy of the people. Standing tall is a Garo man in his traditional attire. The principal garment of the men is a strip of woven cloth about six inches wide and about six feet long. In the past they wove these clothes, some of which were ornamented with rows of white beads made of conch-shells along the end of the flap. They also used vests of black colour with lining at its ends. The men were a turban on the head
Thus, bamboo stands as an ideal species capable of achieving conservation of soil and moisture, restoration of degraded land, livelihood and economic security because of its manifold uses and industrial applications. Bamboo deserves to be developed as an economic and environment resource. To achieve this, policy initiatives are required in all inter-related fields of plantation, research & extension, technology, industry, trade and financing.