By Sariel T. Reang and Pawan K Kaushik
Imagine a painting without a brush; be it a make ups, painting on walls, homes, canvas or paper, paintbrush plays an important role in every aspects of life. With duty comes responsibility just as the increased needs requires sustainability and to make the paintbrush more economical,sustainable and environmental friendly, The Centre for Forest-based Livelihoods &Extension, Agartala has come up with an innovative idea to introduce a paintbrush “Arjun-Wa” made entirely from natural resources viz. arjun grass andbamboo. The name “Arjun-Wa” is a unique name derived from two different words. “Arjun” is a Bengali word indicating broom grass whereas “Wa” is a kokbrok word meaning bamboo.
Natural paintbrush are made from some sort of animal hair such as Horse hair, Badger hair, Boar bristle, Hog hair, etc to name a few. However, we have introduced a nature loving economical product which can bring a changes in the environment as well as economic status of the unemployed and farmers. The handle is made from the most available resource in the state i.e. bamboo and the bristles are made from the broom grass which is emerging as an important agroforestry based non timber products in the state.
Arjun-Wa is being experimented for its performance in CFLE. The painting efficiency is compared by painting on bamboo nursery vessel and on walls. The paintbrush comes with a soft bristles and light bamboo handle which is much lighter in comparison to the synthetic paintbrush therefore it is easy to paint and delivered good results. The product when painted on the walls works smoothly without any ease so this product is promising in terms of flexibility and easy handling. The product offers cheap and affordable price. It is a welcoming product in a sustainable world where every country is fighting the war of sustainable resource for our mother Earth.
Since the raw material is already available in the state, one does not need spend huge amount in importing or purchasing as a result there is a tremendous scope in the state. The local artisans can manufacture at home without much technical complications. They can also set up a small scale industry for manufacturing these natural paintbrushes. This will provide employment in the state and boost up the economy of the rural people.
Its impact on environment is more promising since the product is made out of entirely naturalresources. It is eco-friendly and easily decomposable by the microbes unlike the plastic and synthetic bristles thereby minimising the environmental pollution making it a sustainable product. Its manufacturing would indirectly contribute toward agriculture since the cultivation of broom grass helps in soil conservation of the denuded hilly areas in the state.
It would prove to be potential product in the future replacing the environmentally hazardous materials like polyester, nylons, etc. The cultivation of bamboo will help in restoration of bamboo in the forest areas and broom grass in soil conservation. This will also encourage farmer to cultivate in a large scale for commercial purpose.The idea provides a new scope for further research to add value for quality improvement of the product.