Tagore Tells and Patua Paints workshok on Exhibition
in Kokotta

In order to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Rabindra Nath Tagore SAHMAT undertook the project Tagore Tells and the Patua Paints. Rabindranath Tagore’s vanguard contribution to children’s education in India has been universally acknowledged. Sahaj Path, a primer for basic acquisition of language skills, is a classic work. Paying tribute to this creativity, the project sought to produce new versions of three children’s texts by Tagore, in book-form in Hindi, English and Bengali, illustrated by one of the most creative communities of traditional visual artists of rural Bengal, the patuas. The texts chosen were The Parrot’s Tale (Tota-kahini ), a tale in prose, Birpurush ( The Hero), a small boy’s fantasy in verse about an adventure and Diner Alo Nibhe Elo ( Daylight is fading), a poem describing a rainy sunset. The visuals have been composed by eleven patuas of the younger generation. The patuas were from

the districts of East Medinipur and West Medinipur. A work-shop was held in Kolkotta during May 11 to 18, 2012. Altogether there were 6 men and 5 women, of whom Mairun, the eldest, was about 60 years of age, while the youngest, Suratan and Saikat were around 16 or 17. Both of them are high school students and their syllabus affords them some acquaintance with Tagore’s poems. To the others, the texts were completely new. Thirty two works that were created during the work-shop are being exhibited at Triveni Kala Sangam from 31 May to 6 June. The exhibition will open on 31 May at 5.30 pm. Three books Tota Kahini, Beer Purish, Brishti Pare Tapar Tupur will be released on the occasion. The project was conceived and co-ordinated by Malini Bhattacharya. Shri Sitaram Yechury, M.P., Chairman Standing Committee of Parliament on Tourism, Transport and Culture will be the Chief Guest