New Delhi: Three children's texts written by Rabindranath Tagore have been produced in pictorial editions in Hindi, English and Bengali by the traditional "pata chitra" painters of West Bengal. The project "Tagore Tells and the Patua Paints" sponsored by the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) will unveil May 31 at the Triveni Kala Sangam.

Tagore, who pioneered children's education in India created one of the most innovative alphabet and language primers, "Sahaj Paath" (Easy Lesson). The project is a tribute to Tagore's creativity and contribution to children's literature, SAHMAT said in a release.

The poems "The Parrot's Tale (Tota-Kahini)", a tale in prose, "Birpurush (The Hero)" and "Diner Alo Nibhe Elo (Daylight is Fading)" have been composed in picture verses by 11 young "pata chitra" painters or "patua".

The "patua", a community of nomadic painters, were from Medinipore, a traditional stronghold of "pata chitra" painters in West Bengal. The poems comment on the contemporary school education system in India and teach children the importance of being courageous and honest.

The scrolls were designed at a workshop in Kolkata between May 11 to 18. Two of the 11 "pata chitra" painters - who pictorially narrate stories in scrolls - were familiar with the works of Tagore while the rest were ignorant about his literature.

The painters created 32 art works based on three of his poems at the workshop. The project was conceived and co-ordinated by Malini Bhattacharya.


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