By: Rana Pratap Saikia
Hailing from Biswanath Chariali of Assam, Dhritiman Borah is not your typical environment crusader. This ‘bamboo artisan’ is making waves across the nation for waging a fight against plastics by providing alternate ‘bamboo solutions’ to the environmental hazards posed by plastic.
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The 38-year-old has been practising his craft since 2001, and his DB Industries was making furnishings for the first 7-8 years of its existence, before it would gradually branch into making other unique products. This talented bamboo-craftsman has been making all sorts of products using bamboo — furniture, decorative items, umbrellas, kettles, kitchen utensils, etc.
While talking to Inside Northeast, Borah emphazises on the need to find alternative solutions to the commonly-used plastics. “I am trying to create solutions here through the mode of bamboo crafts. I use bamboo instead of plastics and some of my designs, such as the now-famous bamboo water bottles, have been lauded by the people. I use bamboo as it is a fibre that can be moulded, whereas wood is more resilient. The bamboos are already in the shape of bottles, so it makes it my work easier”, he laughs, while talking about his infamous creation, the bamboo water bottles.
Dhritiman Borah disclosed to Inside Northeast that he is working on a dream project, a bamboo pressure cooker! “If I can construct a pressure cooker with bamboo, a project that has been on the pipeline for a while now, then it will become evident that all kitchen products can be made with bamboo”, he says.
The ‘bamboo artist’ has a special reverence for bamboo, which has a special place in the history of Assam. “Our ancestors have been making things out of bamboo for eons. It is eco-friendly and no chemicals are present. Moreover, we give it a herbal treatment using soil, neem plants, etc., to deter pests and bacteria. Everybody knows that plastics are harmful and non-biodegradable, whereas bamboo is environment friendly, and it is perhaps one of the few viable alternatives to the ubiquitous plastic”, he says.
This young environmental crusader also has a message for India’s Northeast. “I have dealt with a lot of people in my line of work — both in India and abroad — and plastic is banned in most of these regions. Can we not do the same in the Northeast? We should come up with alternative materials that can be used instead of plastics which are destructive for the environment”, Borah cautions.
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