“Who likes sugar?”
Do not look at each other and say “ We do!” (what I remember most at the bamboo tour)
“What do you know about Bamboo?” asked Sirach, an architect who started as a volunteer at the Auroville Bamboo Centre, and is now working permanently with new interns and volunteers to benefit from bamboo making. Sirach’s simple question created a short silent moment among all of us, AUP Scholars? “You can make A LOT OF things out of bamboo,” “It is food for pandas,” “Bamboo makes good fishing rods” etc.
Auroville Bamboo Centre founded in 2009 as a sister branch of the Mohanam Community Centre, by “the man of ideas,” Balu. Balu is also the co-founder/director of the Mohanam Community Centre of Cultural and Education. The Centre was created with his vision to bring modernity and traditions together. Balu stated that he started the bamboo center initially as a hobby. His hobby has become an influential organization today due to his passion and hard work. The center export bamboo products to funds for the variety of cultural projects. The Bamboo Centre takes all volunteers and interns from all over the world for special workshops and seminars in bamboo products, construction, and design. The Centre also invests in research for new sustainable bamboo products such as interior furniture for household needs. Volunteers and interns at the center can benefit from gaining knowledge on bamboo, hands-on workshops and most importantly networking experience with their peers from around the world. Moreover, the Bamboo center is empowering women and drop-outs in the rural areas to get training on making bamboo products to improve their living standards.
A day at the Bamboo Centre in Auroville is nothing but a fascinating experience. During the tour of the center, while most of us were captivated by the attractiveness of Sirach’s passion for bamboo as an architect, we were more intrigued by the many things that created by women and volunteers at the center. Small house, furniture, bed frame, instruments, toys, scarfs, pencils, notebooks, jewelry, chopsticks, and other kitchen utensils,… One will learn not only how to create the product out of bamboo at the bamboo center, but Sirach will also educate you on how to efficiently grow bamboo and what is the most efficient to utilize the different kinds of bamboo. The bamboo center of Auroville is a safe place for expanding education, networking, and a pleasant environment.