APPER is working for promotion of the painting tradition of the Mithila region in Bihar
The art of Madhubani painting was once the pride of Bihar state in India. But due to extreme poverty and lack of support in that region, the art of Mithila painting is severely endangered today. To restore this art to its glorious state, we launched a pilot project in 2004 that has been running now for almost two years and is a self funded project. It consisted of an eminent artist in this region – a National Award Winner (Late Mrs. Chano Devi Paswan) –as a teacher to guide ten specially gifted girl students (12 to 18 years old) chosen by arranging a competition between over a hundred gifted applicants. The teacher received a salary and the students a small scholarship for attending the lessons. Now, as Smt. Chano Devi Paswan died due to lung cancer on 9th February, 2010, Smt. Urmila Devi, (State award winner) from Jitwarpur village has been appointed as a teacher for continuing the teaching.
This pilot project of Madhubani School of Art and Culture turned out to be extremely successful - the students soon became highly proficient in painting marvellous pieces in this traditional style of art - they showed a high level of talent at a very early age. In addition to the art of painting, they were also taught the techniques of natural color making for the paintings.
APPER strives to continue this project and build on the encouraging experience during the pilot phase. The goal is to further develop this endeavor and to render it sustainable and self-supporting. To ensure this, APPER is in the process of setting up a proper and appropriate infrastructure for the school.
By now we have got enough experience and the responses are highly positive from the villagers. Our initiative promises to contribute to poverty alleviation in this region stuck with extreme poverty. It will also lead to women empowerment as it is the women who are at the forefront of this art form. We want to establish the school on a more permanent basis.