JHARKHAND: Despite being a wellrecognised Sohrai and Madhubani painting artist in Ranchi, Kamini Sinha could not pursue her career in the art form for years after her marriage, as her in-laws were against it.
“Though I never took any formal training, somehow I had developed an interest in Sohrai and Madhubani paintings, and started practising them at home since my childhood. Everything was going on smoothly. But my real struggle started soon after I got married to a service-class family, which never gave importance to my hobby, and considered the art a time pass,” says Sinha. According to her, initially, she had to struggle hard for a few years to convince her inlaws.
But they realised her potential only after she was recognised by the Jharkhand government in 2012 for her contribution to society through the art.
What was once her hobby has slowly but surely metamorphosed into a mission to save the heritage of the country for posterity.
Despite all odds, Sinha has established herself as an artist and trained more than 100 tribal women free of cost who are now working independently and earning their livelihood.
Now, Sinha gets work orders not only from other states but also from foreign countries. “After my work got recognised, I was given all freedom to pursue my passion,” says the Madhubani artist. Her primary motive was to make women self-reliant and create their own designs, and sell their work. “So far, I have trained more than a hundred women.
Those who are learning this art are self-dependent and run their households on their own. Now, they make their own designs and sell their work at the stateorganised exhibitions,” says Sinha.
Sinha says a lot of facilities are being provided by the state government, which makes it quite easier for all of the women to sell their products.
Currently, more than 45 women are associated directly with Sinha. What is to note about Madhubani paintings is that they mostly depict people and their association with nature and scenes and deities from the ancient epics.
The focus is on natural objects like the sun, the moon, and religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along with scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings.
Those who are associated with Sinha can’t stop praising her for making them self-reliant. “This is not an easy job. One has to be trained properly to become a professional. I earn Rs 8,000-10,000 every month by selling my products at different exhibitions and fairs,” Priya Kumar, one of Sinha’s student.