Subsidies, handholding, spoon feeding - that's the route that development projects in India typically take.
The idea was to do something out of the ordinary - empower the rural communities in bamboo- and cane rich areas in such a manner that within a year they would start thinking like businessmen and businesswomen. To usher in a culture of market economics and let that dictate rural development.
Thus was born CIBART - the Centre for Indian Bamboo Resource and Technology - a not-for-profit, networked organization incorporated under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 and at present under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 to develop social, economic and environmental applications of bamboo in all sectors, and especially in rural areas where most of the resources and the poor exist.
CIBART works through building networks and partnerships. CIBART has been visualized as a common shared platform for all organizations interested in working with bamboo. CIBART’s core team of professionals, who have considerable experience in bamboo and cane development, work with governments, civil society and the community to make bamboo based sustainable development a reality.
Bamboo is more than 'a poor person's timber'. It offers earthquake-proof housing. It reduces the impact of cyclones. It remediates degraded soil. It can be the resort you vacation in, the bed you sleep in, the lamp that lights up your book and the food you eat. All the time, benefiting the poor.
CIBART helps in actualizing this untapped potential by guiding and training communities to set up bamboo based enterprises. CIBART takes a practical approach to development issues using technology. If the Internet brings communities in remote outposts face to face with experts in many countries, then GIS helps it identify bamboo rich areas and map out policies and action plans accordingly.
The aim of CIBART is to achieve environmental security, livelihood security and economic development through the sustainable use of bamboo and rattan (cane). Given India's rich bamboo resources and the people's natural affinity to this grass, there are immense opportunities. CIBART's promise is to service communities at their doorstep and brings experts, resources and tools together to them towards reduction of poverty, enhancing resilience and sustainability, by complementing existing livelihoods with resilient alternatives, raising productivity and incomes, thereby improving the quality of their lives.
CIBART has a global outlook, yet one that addresses local needs. It is for the communities, but is market driven and businesslike. For CIBART, the community is the primary beneficiary, market the goal and the production of craft and manufactured goods using industrial approaches the means.