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Bihar artists use train coaches as canvas to promote fading Mithila artwork

Bihar artists use train coaches as canvas to promote fading Mithila artwork

PATNA: Dozens of artists have used the train coaches as a large canvass to paint them with exquisite Mithila art—also known as Madhubani painting—drawing huge praises from various quarters.

The idea holds double purposes: While on the one hand, it has sought to promote and preserve the fading traditional art, on the other hand it has given attractive look to the dull, deep-blue train coaches.

In a new start, the coaches of the Bihar Sampark Kranti Express have been painted with exquisite Mithila art. Around 50 artists worked day and night for a full month to give an attractive look to this train running between Delhi and Darbhanga, a northern Bihar town known as the cultural capital of the state.

Authorities said right now only nine coaches of the train have been painted with the traditional art but in due course, all its 24 coaches will be given a tasteful look.

“The idea will not only promote the traditional Mithila art but also help preserve our old heritage,” Federal railway minister Piysuh Goyal said.

A senior railway official said they had painted this train on an experimental basis but more trains would get their makeover in days to come if they got encouraging results.

“It’s a journey of traditional art from heart of Mithila to national heart (Delhi),” a divisional railway manager RK Jain said, adding they could consider adding soothing coat of paint to more trains if the experiment evoked good response from passengers.

Madhubani art originates and is practised in the Mithila region of Bihar. Painting of this style is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments.

Last year, the railways had got the Madhubani station—identified as India’s dirtiest stations in a survey conducted by the Indian railways—transformed with the same Madhubani art.

Under part of the initiative, the authorities involved 100 local artists who ultimately transformed the once “dirtiest” railway station into an “art junction” simply with their brush and paints.

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