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Monday, April 12, 2021

From Bamboo to Recycled Plastic houses, meet the couple who made it possible

Have you ever thought to live in a bamboo house? Of course, it sounds strange. Are you wondering if Bamboo houses will be a good option to live, will it be able to bear rain, will it be strong and many more? The co-founder of Bamboo House India, Prashant Lingam in an exclusive conversation with Platocast talks about their latest plastic invention and the way they are moving towards changing the world with sustainability.

Prashant Lingam

Prashant Lingam and Aruna Kappagantula are the Founders of Bamboo House India who is creating a unique livelihood. Bamboo is strong & natural fibre. It is utilised for various purposes and to fill one among those the duo came up with a sustainable venture called “Bamboo House India” in 2006.

Initially, the initiative didn’t come out well but they didn’t give up. In conversation with Platocast, Prashant shared his hardships as he believes that one should not only share the failures but also celebrate so that one can learn from it.

Prashant Lingam and Aruna Kappagantula

Prashant said, “My wife and I started a Social Enterprise in 2006. It was by chance and not strategically planned. Our main area is building houses in Bamboo. In 2016-17 we started plastic waste recycling and have built houses in plastic.

Recycled Plastic House

He said, “Bamboo is eco-friendly, the major advantage is that it is a substitute to cement. If the consumption of cement is reduced will automatically lead to the reduction of mining. The heat generation in the urban areas is generated due to the cement. The bamboo house weighs less than 300 to 400 kgs for a single bedroom. They are fireproof, waterproof and heatproof.”

Bamboo House

“The precautions are taken care and material is been prepared and is completely safe. It has the capacity of 150kmph wind load. An average bamboo house lasts for 25-35 years minimum with zero maintenance charges. It costs around 800-900sqft and is completely removable.”

It all started with 60 lakhs of loan by an MBA dropout who believed in his dreams & today he owns a successful business along with his wife.

“Sustaining a start-up is extremely difficult. It was challenging for us as we were asking people to build a temporary house. Usually, people were unaware of the material. We had a debt of Rs 60 Lakhs and, the business was not successful initially. My wife and I were both bedridden due to some medical condition for over a year. We had a tough time which also got us to situations where we had one meal a day or one meal in two days. At some point, we once thought to commit suicide but still never gave up,” Prashant said.

He said, “We took a study tour for one year by travelling to the forest regions in the country to know the basic theme of the subject. It was quite tough and a good learning experience.”

 The journey of Bamboo House India…

When Aruna Kappagantula was looking for an eco-friendly sofa they were unable to find one in the entire Hyderabad city. Also, they failed to spot one when Googled. They then went to a village looking for the same and, they came across bamboo handicrafts. Both decided to do something by promoting sustainability through bamboo also wanted to help the community.

“We fell in love with the bamboo at the very first look. My wife wanted to buy a sofa set… we went searching for a sofa set all over to a village in Indo-Bangladesh border. When we went there we came across that the village was a whole resource of the bamboo and the community was extremely skilled with making things out of it. That was the point when we decided to do something with the resource and the artisans. It all happened just by chance,” he further added.

The venture, Bamboo House India makes bamboo houses, furniture, interiors, handicrafts in collaboration with the rural and tribal people. They are also recycling plastics, tyres and may more wastes into useful material with their other venture called ‘Recycle India’. They aim to change Rural and Tribal communities with sustainable livelihood opportunities. The venture uses bamboo as a replacement for wood, steel, plastic and more as a low-cost and eco-friendly.

Prashant spreads a message to everyone saying, “Don’t let failure burden you. Do as many mistakes as possible and don’t shy away from sharing them. Please be conscious and considerate about the environment we are living in.”

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