By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 18 : As celebrated across the globe, World Bamboo Day was observed today at CSIR-NEIST Laboratory Branch, Lamphelpat, Imphal, under the theme, "Bamboo, Our Natural Heritage for a Sustainable Future".
It was jointly organised by CSIR-NEIST; Indian National Trust on Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Manipur Branch and Apunba Imagi Machasing (AIMS).
The programme was attended by Prof Dr H Birkumar Singh, Chief Scientist, CSIR-NEIST, Manipur, Government of India; Prof Ng Iboyaima Singh, Dean, College of Food Technology, Central Agricultural University (CAU); Manasij Chakrabarti, AGM, Punjab National Bank, Imphal Branch; Dr S Manikanta Singh, former Additional Director, Manipur Health Services; Dr RK Chingkhei, Faculty, Department of Forest and Environment, Manipur University and Dr Homen Thanjam, Convenor, INTACH- Manipur Chapter as presidium members.
The celebration began with planting of bamboo in the campus of CSIR-NEIST followed by a welcome address by Dr Atom Sunil Singh, Director, AIMS Manipur.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Dr H Birkumar Singh expressed concern over the present unrest in Manipur and added that conflict not only affected the people of Manipur as a whole, but also the biodiversity of Manipur.
"Manipur is well known as a biodiversity hotspot. However, the tag of biodiversity hotspot is not permanent. In order to conserve the biodiversity hotspot, bamboo is really important as it is a major soil binder", he added.
He also shared that Saneibi, a variety of bamboo found in Manipur can replace steel in construction works.
Highlighting the uses of bamboo, Prof Ng Iboyaima Singh shared that many innovative products of Bamboo including bamboo power organic fertilizer and bamboo leaf tea will be released in the market soon with the help of AIMS
Dr S Manikanta Singh elaborated on bamboo as a part & parcel of life and conveyed that bamboo is closely related to tradition and religion of "our" society.
He also shared that regarding environmental degradation caused by poppy plantation, bamboo can be used as an alternative to poppy to conserve the environment and generate revenue.
Moreover, South Asia Bamboo Foundation (SABF) also celebrated World Bamboo Day today at Bamboo Complex, Patsoi-I, Imphal West.
It was attended by school students, artisans, entrepreneurs and locals.
At the event, artisans from Patsoi and Tengnoupal demonstrated and displayed their bamboo crafts and products while Padmashree Guru Rewben Mashangva performed a sweet- short musical recital with his flute made from local bamboo.
Hitoshi Yokota, bamboo shoot expert from Japan stressed on the idea and possibilities of marketing bamboo shoots in the global market.
Pointing out that Manipur has almost all the favourable local conditions for becoming a global bamboo shoot export hub, he said, "In order to have an economically viable model of bamboo shoot industry, technologies and bamboo farms have to be introduced in Manipur".
A panel discussion titled "Rebuilding the economy with Bamboo" was also held with Kamesh Salam of SABF as moderator.
Salam Rajesh highlighted various positive aspects of bamboo including the possibilities of bamboo based medical tourism where asthmatic patients can come to bamboo forests for breathing & natural treatments.
Panellists of the discussion included RK Nimai, retired IAS officer; Prof E Bijoy, Manipur University; Salam Rajesh, member IUCN CEESP; Rouwaithang Dangsha, chairman Machi Village; Saddam Hanjabam, Ya’ll and Dr Bijen Laishram, convenor EIACP, Directorate of Environment.
A spot painting competition was also organised for school students where Lanleiba Sinam of Ramakrishna Mission School stood 1st position, Loktongbam Lakshita Lingjel and Rajpriya Christina Laishram both from Millennium School begged the 2nd and 3rd position respectively in the senior category (Class 8-10).
Winners of the Junior category (Class 7 and below) in order of merit are Nongmaithem Korounganba of Heritage Convent, Kh Joy Meitei of Wangkhei High School and Kelvin Erengbam of Pitambara English School.
Bamboo Saplings were also distributed to all the attendees.