New Delhi: From Madhubani tea sets to exotic coasters with Tikuli work — a new store at New Delhi’s Bihar Niwas seeks to bring some of the state’s most striking artforms to your home while helping artisans recover from the blow of the pandemic.
‘Biharika, Bihar Ki Kala Dehri’, an initiative of the Bihar government, is an exhibit store that was inaugurated Friday. Interested buyers can purchase (if in stock) or book items from the store and make payments directly to the bank or UPI accounts of the artisans who made them.
Payments are digitised, and there is no added cost — GST or profit margin for the store — to the products.
The goods on offer include coasters, bags, embroidered sarees, tea sets, masks, and wall hangings, among other things. They have been fashioned in the style of artforms like Manjusha, Madhubani, Sikki, Tikuli, Sujani, papier mache, Bawan Booti, and Obra.
Currently, there are more than 20 artists attached to the initiative, and they decide the prices for their products.
The initiative started taking shape last year after the Covid lockdown, to help the artisans who suffered a setback on account of the sudden halt to earnings.
Prafulla Kumar Lal, a Muzaffarpur-based artist specialising in Madhubani, has showcased papier mache products at the store. Lal, who has been in this profession with his wife for 15 years, said the lockdown left their house stacked with unsold products. During the lockdown, he told ThePrint, there was nothing to eat and they have not been able to pay the rent for a year now.
“I have exhibited my products at Biharika with the hope that it will help recover the losses we suffered due to the lockdown,” he said. “Biharika ek doobte hue ko tinke ka sahara hai (Biharika is our last resort).”
Soni Kumari from Patna who practises Tikuli said she has already received a few orders from the shop. “Thoda time dena hoga, toh bada order bhi ayega (Give it time, bigger orders will follow).”