Grewia optiva (bhimal) is a popular tree found near agriculture fields in the hills. It occurs naturally in the field bunds and is conserved by the villagers for its multipurpose utility. It is considered as a family tree of inhabitants. Every family has got 6-8trees at lower altitude and 10-12 trees at higher altitude. Normally the tree is cut down during winters for fodder. It is moderate sized tree up to 45 ft. high and 5ft girth with a clear bole of 10-12 ft. The plant is distributed from Punjab to Bengal, ascending to an altitude of about 7000 ft. in the Himalayas. Traditionally Bhimal is grown for fodder, fuel and fiber. Bhimal can grow easily in different type of soil. But sandy loam soil with adequate moisture favours good growth. Growth of the tree species is very poor in shallow dry soil. The leaves are proteinous and good for mulching animals.
Bhimal is a good source of fiber. Villagers extract the fiber by retting process. Branches of the tree are cut during winter season and dipped in water for a month. The soaked branches are beaten and fiber is extracted. The leaves are given to the animals. Extracted fiber is used for making only ropes. Women also use its bark extract for hair wash but appropriate technique is not available.
1. Fancy Article : it gives an inferior quality of fiber which has been used as ropes and cordage. Use of this fiber in making various fancy articles and articles of daily use has been initiated. Due to easy availability of the trees, fiber utilization could be an economically useful pursuit for mountain people, especially women’s groups.
2. Shampoo: From time immemorial sap of Bhimal bark is used for washing hair. It has saponin and people in villages use it as an alternative to soap. A herbal shampoo has been developed by mixing it with Amla and Shikakai. The bark of the tree is dried in sunlight or in dryer and ground to a powder. This is mixed with Amla and Shikakai powders in the proportion 35% Bhimal bark, 40% Shikakai powder and 25% Amla powder, and packed. It is good treatment for dandruff and graying of hair. Liquid shampoo can also be prepared with the sap
Geographical Coverage: This programme covered 7 villages of Uttarakhand
Locations-Uttarakhand (07 villages) Gwar, Chauki, Dhak, Saldhar, Khameda, Kata, Pakhi
Direct beneficiaries: 148
Enterprises Created: 85 (individual Beneficiaries)
Income Enhanced/Savings Incurred: The amount of increase in income enhanced by utilization of Technology is Rs. 3200-5000/month (individual beneficiaries).