I’m Manjula Thakur, a 61-year-old local of Kumhrara’s Laxminiya Bazar. Four years ago, I lost my husband. My two sons help our family meet its essential needs and live with me.
When I was just twelve years old, I got married. I started practicing mithila art at home after getting married. I also had the chance to take part in a 10-day wall painting workshop that was held in Kathmandu, Nepal. I was given the chance to work at the Janakpur Development Center after that training (JWDC)
For years, I have been creating Mithila art on paper, in frames, and on various sorts of clothing. I can paint pictures of gods like Lord Shiva, Hanuman, Radha Krishna, Sita Ram, and Vishnu, as well as represent the daily activities of a typical rural woman, such as working in the fields, cooking, laughing, caring for children, and many other things.
As a Mithila artist, I initially faced a lot of opposition from my family and the society. I had to cope with a lot of awkward circumstances because my husband used to strike me and pressure me to stop working and start assisting with home duties. But my husband’s father-in-law constantly encouraged, supported, and even assisted with financial issues.
My parents prohibited girls from attending school, so I never went to study there. In my community, studying girls was not considered fundamental. But I deeply regret it because studying would have allowed me to advance more quickly. I feel happy only when I am in JWDC. I express my feeling and emotions through my art.
I was given the chance to go to several nations through JWDC, including America, Spain, Japan, Australia, and India. I was also given certifications. I am really appreciative that, despite having to deal with many challenging circumstances, JWDC has continued me to live a happy life. I kindly ask everyone to support and participate in Mithila art. Let’s not reduce the Mithila art, which has recently come to light after being hidden for many years, to the shadows.