I’ve been painting at the Janakpur Women’s Development Center for 25 years. The distance between my home in Deuri Parvaha, Janakpur-2, and the city of Janakpur is 4 kilometers. I am 50 years old and live with my son and daughter-in-law. My husband married another woman while he was abroad working and abandoned me and my son. 

Since the COVID, fewer tourists are here visiting our place, which makes it harder for us to sell our artwork and leaves us with little funds. Normally, the money I receive from JWDC serves as my primary source of income. However, when products are not selling, I work as a maid to earn money. My son doesn’t take care of me, so I must handle everything.

I’m extremely grateful to a woman from my village who worked at JWDC since she helped me get into the organization where I learned Mithila art and painting. I first thought I wouldn’t be able to learn Mithila art when I first saw artists performing Mithila paintings. The artist there, however, encouraged and taught me to paint and draw. In the past, they used to ask me to sketch the paintbrush while they outlined it. With their support and dedication, I learned to paint in just 15 days.

I can now paint and sketch various animals, including elephants, horses, peacocks, fish, and ducks. Once, a tourist bought some of my paintings, and I received Rs. 8,440, with which I paid my son’s school fee. It was a very happy moment for me. I originally started painting to earn money for my livelihood, but now it’s my passion and my favorite choice. Everything in Mithila art attracts me, and I enjoy doing it.

I feel like we are not receiving the appropriate amount of money for our effort and attention in Mithila art because of a lack of sufficient funding and supervision. Please help spread the word about this traditional Mithila art form so that ladies like us get a chance to show off our skills.