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Representative Image

Jharkhand: Painters in tribal areas face monetary crisis due to govt's negligence

Rizwan Arif | Updated: May 01, 2019 20:10 IST

By Rizwan Arif
Hazaribagh (Jharkhand) [India], May 1 (ANI): Artists in tribal areas here have been facing monetary problem after the state government has neglected Sohrai and Khovar form of paintings.
Sohrai and Khovar are the two main paintings through which tribal women of Hazaribagh exhibit the forest life. Popularity and demand for this artwork are not only in India but has been recognized in foreign countries like USA, Germany, and Australia.
These two forms have got a place in Jharkhand government's tourism literature. Despite the art getting international attention, it is facing tremendous negligence. Artists are fearing to lose their livelihood. 
Talking to ANI, an artist Putli Gunju, said, "Government just gives appreciation letter and no money. It is very tough to survive. We do not get the work very frequently. The government should do something for the artists."
Putli has been painting on the walls since childhood. She had learnt it seeing her mother painting. 
Another artist Sugiya Devi, said, "Government approaches us when there is painting required on some government wall or a building."
"I have been painting for over 25 years, but the government does nothing for us. It is not promoting the artists. We are forced to work as a labourer," she added.
Sugiya Devi was the first artist of Hazaribagh whose painting made its way to the USA, "I have not been to America and Australia, but my work has reached there." she said
Khovar is a narrative of marriage through painting while Sohrai exhibits the farmers' life, corps and harvesting and other essences of tribal life. 
Due to apathy from government, many artists are migrating from tribal areas to cities for work. Justin Imam, who works for the betterment of tribal artists said, "There is a lack of will power in the government. They do not want to do anything. Maximum they do is that they hire the artists and get the government's walls and buildings painted. The art is dying." 
"Current deputy commissioner had once tried to get a Geographical Index (GI) tag for the art form in the district, Some file moved but it has become still now," Justin added. (ANI)