Neck-deep in debt once, this Hyderabad couple shows the way to sustainable living with bamboo houses
Founded by Prashant Lingam and Aruna Kappagantula, Bamboo House India aims to promote an eco-friendly life by making homes out of bamboo and using plastic waste to build public amenities.
Newly married couple Prashant Lingam and Aruna Kappagantula were looking for eco-friendly furniture while setting up their house. This led them to start Bamboo House India in 2006.
From building eco-friendly homes of bamboo to footpaths from recycled plastic waste, the couple is promoting sustainable living and also providing employment to several farmers and artisans involved in the process. Today, Bamboo House India is seeing a turnover of Rs 2 crore.
But their journey was not very smooth, recalls Prashant.
A rough road to success
In the initial days, the couple had to face some tough challenges. Due to strict state laws and rules, they could not source bamboo easily, and the venture did not take off until 2010. By then, the couple was neck-deep in debt, and having a day’s meal became difficult.
According to Prashant, a few deaths in the family and no contract for three years led them to incur a debt of Rs 60 lakh. The duo was struggling to make ends meet, and Prashant and his wife say they even considered suicide. But they decided to give their dream a last shot; Aruna sold her jewellery and kept all their collaterals to borrow money.
Soon, things turned around. A school principal in Hyderabad approached the couple with a request to build a bamboo penthouse. The result attracted many others to their quality and craftsmanship.
A sustainable future
Fast forward to today, and 13 years after starting up, the Hyderabad-based couple has taken Bamboo House India across the country.
To give an insight, bamboo houses are way cheaper as they cost only Rs 500–700 per sq ft, as compared to concrete houses, which cost Rs 1,500–2,500 per sq ft. Besides, the house also eliminates the need for air conditioning as the temperature goes down by three to four degrees.
The couple has also taken a strong stand against the plastic menace by using plastic to build basic public amenities. For instance, in 2013, they built an entire house with plastic bottles in Hyderabad.
Speaking to The News Minute on the initiative, Prashant said,
“In 2018, we built an office for a park at Kukatpally, which was made from half plastic and half bamboo. We even managed to get plastic flooring for the structure. Later, in Miyapur, we built a house for the Metro staff at the parking counter, where the entire structure was made of plastic, except the flooring. Though our ideas are catching up, many remain sceptical about the longevity of such houses.”
For now, Bamboo House India is focusing on Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu. Their work can be seen at the US consulate in Hyderabad; they have also built a boathouse at the Google office in Hyderabad. The couple recently started making inroads into Maharashtra.
The aim is working towards a sustainable future, as the couple is also diverging towards recyclable plastics and supporting ragpickers.
Prashant said: “We are trying to create awareness by delivering lectures at schools and colleges and appealing to the youth,” reports Efforts For Good.
Prashant is also planning to build washrooms, furniture, and office spaces out of plastic.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)
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