|Chosen as a Spicy Saturday Pick by BlogAdda here.|
We get to meet heroes in real life too.
They religiously do their works & duties. They are down-to-earth, sincere, and humble. Heroes do not consider their daily lives to be spectacular though their efforts make the world better & more beautiful.
I got to meet a hero recently in a village near Pipili in Puri district, Odisha, India.
I found women of all ages at work. Using paints, paint-brushes, and eco-friendly & recycled materials like old newspapers, everyday they are creating awesome works of art that are bright, colourful and environment-friendly. Birds & Fish Hangings, Pen-Stands, Flower-Vases, File-Folders with Saura art (Tribal art), Head-shaking Turtles, Key-chain hangers, Painted bottles, Cardboard Dancing Toys shaped as Spiderman etc- their creative work is much loved & much in demand in India & abroad.
The credit goes to a hero- Mr. Surjyo Narayan Sahoo, who has been imparting them training and ensuring them a good source of income.
Watch this video for sustainable Odisha art and artists-
A simple, soft-spoken, deep-thinking craftsman with an entrepreneurial streak, 37-years old Mr.Surjyo is enthusiastic and constantly on the look out for new ideas and to innovate. Just like an artist fills a blank canvas or shapes a statue from raw-materials, the teacher too shapes a student. Like the sun dispels darkness & ushers light, Mr.Surjyo (whose name also means 'Sun' in Odia language) endeavours to light up the lives of many women by helping to skill and empower them.
When I asked how this work has benefited them, one woman named Urmila proudly said that she sends her son to the convent school thanks to her own earnings. A young girl named Simanti said that ever since they got trained by Mr.Surjyo, they are independent and help supplement their family's income. Rather than asking for money, they earn, spend and also invest in savings. The women are happy for this creative opportunity that lets them do the work that they love and enjoy. They work at their own pace and in the comfort and safety of their own homes. The women save time travelling and can work till late hours.Some women are uneducated, while others are graduates.They work together and earn. Mr.Surjyo trains, demonstrates and inspects. The women gain expertise and fulfill orders.
'Give a woman a fish & you feed her for a day; Teach a woman to fish & you feed her for a lifetime.'Mr.Surjyo is a hero as he has nurtured traditional handicrafts, implemented innovations and empowered the women to lead their lives with pride and dignity. So far he has trained 25 women artists. He has skilled them completely as the women had no knowledge or experience in this field before. Mr.Surjyo's idea is to train economically-poor girls/women from farmer-families & teach them to create works of art from low-cost & eco-friendly raw-materials (like paper-pulp, wood-dust & recycled waste-materials) that they can afford and be empowered financially. He has trained two physically-challenged girls,who are working in their homes & earning money.
I feel sponsoring such heroes will empower them to nurture more heroes, in turn ensuring many more are gainfully employed. Our India and World will have a more productive population with no unemployment. Their efforts will protect, supply and create a demand for our ancient arts & crafts worldwide.
We all can #BeAHero in our own ways. Let us all #CelebrateHeroes.What do you feel? Do share your views in the comments below.