Many people across the globe are trying to come up with ways to protect the environment. One such inspirational story is of Prashant Lingam and his wife Aruna Lingam who together founded Bamboo House India.
Bamboo House India is a social enterprise that is using bamboo to make houses. The idea is to promote a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle.
Prashant Lingam was always reluctant towards his studies. He even dropped his MBA studies in between. In 2006, he met and then married Aruna. The couple was desperately looking for an eco-friendly sofa set. The search for such a sofa set took them to Katlamara village in Tripura, right on the Indo-Bangladesh border.
While traveling, the duo came across many skilled laborers whose livelihood depended on making bamboo products and local handicrafts. Their research on google had also revealed that bamboo houses were very famous worldwide but were not popular in India. The duo brought this concept to India.
Challenges Faced by The Couple
Initially, no one was interested in getting bamboo houses made. Prashant went into a debt of 60 lakhs. The couple hardly had one meal to eat daily. They had to take care of the needs of the bamboo laborers as well.
For the first three years, they could not find any work. Aruna sold all her jewelry and gave their noble initiative one last try. Finally, their hard work paid off, and a school principal in Hyderabad approached them. The principal asked them to build a penthouse. The excellent work by the duo attracted others, and they started getting work.
Benefits of Bamboo
The bamboo houses are providing employment to tribal and rural people from the Northeast. Bamboo can be used as a replacement for wood, steel, iron, and plastic. Bamboo has higher tensile strength than most grades of steel. It is an eco-friendly construction material.
The houses constructed are equipped with internet and electricity. Bamboo attains full growth in three years and can be harvested repeatedly. At present, the projects of the bamboo houses are concentrated around Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and some parts of Maharashtra.
We have already covered a story about Bamboo Lady of India, Don’t forget to check her story – Bamboo Lady of India.
Recognition and Popularity
Over the years, the popularity of bamboo houses has grown. The efforts of Aruna and Prashant have also gained recognition. The duo has also received an invitation from the US government. Aruna got an opportunity to visit the white house and meet the social innovation team of ex-President Barack Obama.
In 2017, the couple got invited by the government of Kenya to visit the country and build bamboo houses.
Managing Plastic to Create Houses
In addition to creating bamboo houses, the social enterprise also works in recycling plastic waste. From the waste recycled: the couple design and make low-cost shelter solutions. It helps in providing sustainable living opportunities to waste-picking communities.
The work by Prashant and Aruna is not just benefitting the environment, but also people from economically weaker backgrounds.