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10-day long Shilpotsav organised in Patna
The campus of Upendra Maharathi Shilp Anusandhan Sansthan (UMSAS), Patna ( Bihar) was filled with talented male and female artisans on the occasion of the 10-day long ‘Shilpotsav’-2013. This second ‘Shilpotsav’ was organized from 14 to 23 December by the Department of Industries, Government of Bihar and UMSAS, Patna to encourage artisans. About 200 male and female artisans from different Indian states showcased their talents in the different branches of handicrafts. There was about one hundred stalls.

Male and female artisans were busy in making beautiful and colourful handicraft products from different materials like paper, wood, stone, sikki, jute, cotton/silk threads, dry vegetable products, jari, coloured clothes, coconuts, waste newspapers, colours etc. Mithila painters outnumbered other branches of the handicraft.

Some of the most appreciated art works were of brave special girl artist (Kanpur) Sarita Dwivedi’s Mithila Paintings (Chhath and Krishna with Gopies), 46 inch and 64 year old Bhola Pandit (wooden elephant), Mithila painting artist Indira Devi of Madhubani (pictorial self autobiography), national award winner Subhadra Devi of Madhubani (Shravan Kumar) etc.

Young special girl artist Sarita Dwivedi of  Kanpur was the centre of attraction in this fair. She lost her two hands and one leg in a tragic accident during her childhood at the age of 4. She paints beautiful paintings with her mouth and a leg.

This fair was inaugurated by the Industries Minister Dr Renu Kumari Kushwaha on December 15. She also honoured total 20 artisans from different districts of Bihar in different branches of handicrafts with Tamrapatra, certificates, handicraft momentos and shawls.

“Handicraft is the greatest source of employment in Bihar. Bihari handicraft is best in the world and it’s demand is increasing everyday. Department of Industries and UMSAS, Patna are encouraging helping rural artisans to sharpen their skills under the guidance of expert trainers. We are also helping them by providing them free participation in the state and national fairs for better marketing opportunities,” said the Industries Minister during her inaugural address in the fair.

“Our target is to train 80 thousand artisans. World Bank is also interested to help our artisans,” she added.                                                                            

Prabhu Joshi, an eminent artist and art critic from Indore while speaking to this citizen journalist said that handicraft was the art of 90 per cent Indian artisans. It is the art of the common people but this useful art is struggling for right price and place in the market.

“This art is most  precious than modern art paintings of contemporary artists. Unfortunately our artisans are not getting good response and money from the market. We should encourage them by paying them real price of handicraft good for the survival of the art and artisans,” said Joshi.

On the occasion of the concluding programme on December 23 best stall owners, expert artisans and five contemporary artists were honoured with momentos and shawls by S.S. Gupta, Development Commissioner (handicraft).

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