Going beyond just acquainting the city with the quintessential Mithilan art of Madhubani, BestHandsIndia, an NGO working to promote Indian art, has helped over 15 underprivileged women eke out a living by teaching them the Madhubani style of painting.
Henna Devi, an artisan from Mithila, Bihar, where the art originated, was brought down to conduct the 10-day-long workshop, in order to preserve the authenticity of the art. “Of the 19 women who have been tutored, we will absorb at least 10 in our own projects,” said Anita Narayanasamy of BestHandsIndia.
Through the course, all women learnt the basics of the art, like drawing traditional patterns representing flora and fauna besides filling them with traditional colours made from flower juice, sandalwood, lime, rice and even cow dung. The workshop, which culminated on Friday, also provided them certificates.
“Madhubani art is really complex and rigorous training for at least three months is required for perfecting the art. The full course is also very expensive and costs up to Rs.90, 000,” says Heena Devi. “But unlike other art forms, Madhubani is thriving even today and all artisans who have perfected the art have their hands full with work,” explained the artist, who lives in the Madhubani district. Besides conducting a full-fledged three-month-long course in collaboration with the government of Bihar, she has been travelling across the country to propagate the art form.
BestHandsIndia aims to help women from low-income groups create new product lines employing the art in tune with the market, and help market these products.