Darbhanga: Educated till Class VIII, Barheta village resident Krishna Kumar Kashyap has carved out a niche for himself through his valuable contribution to the field of Mithila painting. Passion knows no boundaries and Kashyap has proved the adage correct by opening a Mithila Painting School which has provided certificates to thousands of females who include a few foreign nationals.

At the age of 62 years, Kashyap has added many feathers to his cap. He has written several books on Mithila Paintings is an eminent speaker and writer of English, Italian and French. He has translated Geet-Govinda and Meghdoot and has been running Mithila Painting School (Bharti Vikas Manch) successfully for years without any financial aid from government.

The aforesaid facts appear even more startling when one gets to know about the early days of Kashyap. Because of their financially weak status, his father Indran Narayan Lal could not pay Kashyap’s school fees after Class VIII and he had to discontinue his studies.

However, the financial restraint did not deter Kashyap from making his crucial contribution towards the society. He started educating village children and went on to study the fine details of Mithila painting. Thereafter, he opened a night school in Mahakali library of village. His friend Jaya Shankar helped him. He was also associated with Jayaprakash Movement, Sarvodaya and Bhoodan Andolan.

Further ,he went to Bodhgaya where he came in contact with foreign students that opened the door for him to learn foreign languages.

He started the school to give free training to village women coming from different strata. Till 2000 almost 8500 women of 65 villages had been trained in Mithila painting art form. At present, Bharti Vikas Manch gives certificates in this art form.

His books prominently including ‘Maachh-Bhaat’, ‘Mithila Chitra Shiksa’, ‘Mithila Chitra Praveshika’, ‘Mithila Chitra Kor’ are a complete guide in this direction. Kashyap wrote these books with the help of his student Shashibala.

On many occasions, Kashyap has travelled to foreign countries to teach Mithila painting. During his stay at Bodhgaya, Kashyap came in contact with foreigners. Ali Shandra, a French national and one of the disciples of Kashyap did her course in Mithila paintings by correspondence through letters. In this context, he had to visit France also. Later Kashyap also visited Italy, France and Spain to spread the awareness and teach people about the art.

With assistance from one of his student Shashibala, Kashyap wrote books like Mithila chitra part -1, Mithila Chitra Prvesika part 1-2, Mithila Chitra Course part 3. One of his students, Nirmala Devi says that his books themselves are a complete teacher.
Kashyap has further plans to open a university of traditional arts.

Shree Shankar Jha of Marwari Collage here says that Kashyap has given a new direction to Mithila Painting. Madan Sahni, MLA of Bahadurpur says that he is proud of talented Kashyap and would honour the man for making Darbhanga proud.

JPN/Bureau