Monthly Archives: November 2009

“Development without security is meaningless. Join the Army”

“There may be lots of development, but if there is no security, development is meaningless. Therefore, join the army” is the motto of 60-year old Anuradha Gore.Anuradha Gore

Fourteen years ago, Captain Vinayak Gore laid down his life fighting insurgents at his post near Kupwara during Operation Rakshak. Since then, his mother Anuradha Gore has drawn up a battle plan of her own.

Since the death of her son, Gore took it upon herself to educate and inspire young children about joining the armed forces. During school vacations, she conducts workshops on all-round development, leadership skills, terrorism and about the armed forces as this is her way to keep Vinayak alive. “Values of bravery have to be inculcated in children at a young age so that they grow up to realise the importance of joining the army,” says Gore. She narrates stories of brave war heroes like Shivaji, Veer Savarkar and Mangal Pandey.

On a regular basis, she also tutors students of class 4th – 6th students of Paranjpe Vidyalaya in self study techniques. She has a team of 12 housewives who help her in this mission.

Gore feels that today children are looking out for more lucrative opportunities, but joining the armed forces does not necessarily mean the person will die. The salaries may be less but benefits are tremendous.

She was a teacher at Parle Tilak High School till 2003 and retired as the principal of R. N. Podar High School in 2007. Her teaching profession helped her deal with the death of her only son. “The principal of Parle Tilak High School sent me a letter stating that there are more than 100 Vinayaks waiting for you in school and there will be many more,” adds Gore.

Gore has written a book titled Vaaras Hovu Abhimanyuche on the lives of 19 slain defence persons. In addition, she serves as a columnist for Marathi newspapers.

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“We are not slaves of the colour, the colour is our slave”

The husband and wife duo Satyanarayan Lal Karn and Moti Karn Satyanarayan Lal Karn and Moti Karnare National Award winning Mithila artists. The couple were introduced to the art by their Mihila artist mothers at a very early age – Satyanarayan was nine and Moti was seven. Today Satyanarayan, 56 and Moti, 49 have mastered the art that their work has won international acclaim.

“We don’t use chemical paints and synthetic brushes. We prepare the paint ourselves by grinding flowers and leaves and use thin broom sticks as brushes. We never buy flowers and leaves or pluck them. We pick them when they have fallen naturally,” says Moti. “We are not slaves of the colour. The colour is our slave. We draw whatever comes to our mind,” adds Satyanarayan.

Mithila derives its name from the birthplace of Sita from the epic Ramayan. There are two categories of Mithila paintings – floor drawings or aripana and wall paintings or bhitti chitra. Floor drawings are done on special occasions like births, first hair cut, thread ceremony, marriage and death while wall drawings are done regularly.

The art is normally handed down from mother to daughter. Moti’s mother Karpoori Devi, is a National Merit Certificate winner while Satyanarayan’s mother is Padma Shree Jagdamba Devi. The couple have two children. “Our younger son is interested in the art. When he paints he uses modern themes but we use traditional themes,” says Moti.

Mithila art involves intricate workmanship. Generally, there are no blank spaces in the paintings. The couple usually concentrates on themes based on nature, society and religion. The Karns work together on every piece of art. They both start on either sides of painting and come together. They have mastered the art so well that it looks like one person has painted the entire piece. Each painting is unique and can never be replicated. The cost of each painting ranges from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 2,50,000.

Today, there are about 150 – 200 Mithila artists in the country. “The government does not promote the art. There is a Mithila art museum in Japan but not in India where it originated,” says Satyanarayan who works at National Bal Bhavan in Delhi where they train students in various art forms.

The couple is planning to start a Mithila academy in their hometown in Bihar where they have already bought land.

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