Shah Rashid Ahmed Khadri, a 67-year-old Bidri craftsperson from Bidar, is among the Padmashri Award winners this year.
He gained instant popularity when he sat working with his tools on the Karnataka Tableau at the Republic Day parade in 2011.
He has spent nearly five decades in the art that he learnt from his father Shah Mustafa Khadri, a master craftsman who was honoured by the Nizam of Hyderabad.
The Khadris were a family of limited means and Rashid could study only up to PU. His father, however, did not want him to be a Bidri craftsman as he felt they did not earn enough. He enrolled Rashid into English typewriting course. However, he began assisting his father who began losing eyesight due to old age.
He is a winner of Shilpa Guru Award, Rajyotsava Award and national award for handicrafts. He is a regular invitee to the Suraj Kund Mela, Dilli Haat and other exhibitions in India.
He has also served as a procurer for the Cauvery handicrafts museum in Bengaluru and a master trainee for various various craftsman training programmes of the Central and State governments.
His creations have been exhibited in the U.S., Europe, West Asia and Singapore.
He said that he had never expected this honour. “I miss my father today. I am sure he would have been happier than I am,” he said.