To revive this dying industry of flute making in Pilibhit, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to cultivate the delicate Assam bamboo (schizostachyum), which is known to be highly suitable for flutes and is presently brought from Silchar.
The Pilibhit flute has been included in the state government's 'one district, one product' (ODOP) programme.
Pilibhit has now got a 'Bansuri Chowk', showcasing a colossal metallic flute to the people of the district at the main gateway to the district headquarters.
Pilibhit is known to craft the best bamboo flutes in India. Two decades ago, the district accounted for nearly 90 per cent of the total flute production in the country.
Despite all this, Pilibhit's handcrafted bamboo flute seems to be out of tune with the times. Flute-makers here are struggling to keep afloat and the annual demand of over 60 lakh flutes has now shrunk to just 5 to 5.50 lakh.
The workforce had dwindled from over 7,000 to 150 to 200 as cheaper made-in-China flutes have flooded the markets.
District magistrate Pulkit Khare has now announced cultivation of Assam bamboo in the district to cut down on transportation cost and loss (estimated to be at least 15 per cent) due to damage while transporting and loading the bamboo from Silchar.
Experts of the Maharashtra-based National Rural Bamboo Mission & Research Institute and Mizoram- based Advanced Research Centre for Bamboo were consulted to ascertain if Pilibhit's climate, soil and subsoil water level would be suitable for cultivating the bamboo.
Khare said, "Our efforts will be focused upon the revival of those markets which the flute manufactures have hitherto lost. We will also explore new markets in south eastern and the north eastern countries where flute is played."
For this, the Pilibhit's flute would be exhibited in various national and international trade fairs.
Assistance of the department of commerce would also be taken for promoting flute export, he added.
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