Bamboo handicrafts are not just an integral part of Sikkim's cultural matrix, but also contribute significantly to the state's economy.
With an aim to hone the skills of unemployed youth, the state government has launched a novel concept of livelihood schools across Sikkim.
The livelihood school, which functions under the State Institute of Capacity Building, is providing training related to bamboo products to 30 unemployed youth and is teaching them how to make different things like basketwork, flowers, mats and decorative items.
The objective is to make the youth self-reliant and provide them a source of income.
"Most of the students are interested in bamboo. They want to do training on Bamboo and they want to make any kind of bamboo products at home and sell it to the market so it will be a benefit for them," said Sunita Chettri, an instructor.
Instead of staying idle, it's better to have training in bamboo arts and secure our future. We can work in the village itself and sell the products in the market," said Anu Rasaily, a trainee.
The institute runs different three to six month courses like traditional wooden craft and products, traditional art, designing and painting. The students can also avail of financial help to run their own businesses.
Those who prefer jobs have the option of placements in various industries related to arts and handicrafts.
"We were unemployed before, but after training we can make different kinds of bamboo products and sell them in the market. This way, we can make our life better, and earn a livelihood," added Passangkit Sherpa, another trainee.
The Northeast has huge reserves of bamboo, which make a significant contribution to the region's economy. Professional training in bamboo arts can give a boost to the region's economy and generate employment for the youth. (ANI)