Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham Engages Tribals in Making Eco-Furniture

Maya Mahajan, Associate Professor at Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore Campus, engaged the tribal people to turn these Lantana weeds into beautiful, and highly durable furniture. Lantana furniture has gained popularity in the urban market, which is, in turn, is generating good revenue for the aboriginal communities of forested areas in Tamil Nadu. “Through my research project on the forest product harvesting, I have had close interaction with the tribal inhabitants of Siruvani, Mudumalai, Wayanad and Silent Valley. I shared a good rapport with the communities. Yet when I approached them with the proposal of making furniture from Lantana, they were reluctant, doubting its feasibility,” shared Maya. 

Amrita Center for Sustainable Future Helps Setup ‘Siruvani Lantana Craft Center’

Six months ago, under the ministry of environment, forest and climate change, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham started a 60-day certification course in making lantana furniture. While the project was begun to empower tribals, now they are also looking to reach others, said Mahajan. “We are also trying to replicate the programme in other parts of the country,” she said. 

Residents of Seengapathi, a tribal settlement in Boluvampatti forest range, were first exposed to making dolls and chairs from lantana through a project funded by science for equity, empowerment and development (SEED) under the department of science and technology in 2015. The programme was facilitated by the Center for Sustainable Future, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. The center has now helped residents start the ‘Siruvani Lantana Craft Center’, a partnership firm with those who have been trained in furniture making, said Maya Mahajan, an associate professor from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, who coordinates the project. The use of lantana to make furniture was a win-win situation as the plant is an invasive species which has been creating ecological problems in the Western Ghats, she said.

Amrita Wins Prestigious Awards on World Environment Day 2018

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri Campus and Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences & Research Center, Kochi, were presented with the Excellence awards by the Honorable Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan, at the World Environment Day celebrations held at the Mascot Hotel, Trivandrum, on June 7, 2018. 

Amrita Organises Sabarimala Cleanup Drive 2017

The staff and faculty members from Amritapuri Campus of  Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, AYUDH India and Mata Amritanandamayi Math volunteers, collectively around 1200 volunteers, joined for a  two day Sabarimala Cleanup Drive held on 11th and 12th November, 2017.