Jute Craft by Artisan Sikha Dutta from West Bengal, India (State Awardee)
Hi! I am Sikha Dutta. I was born on 13th January 1954 in Pakistan. During the formation of Bangladesh in 1971, I came to India as a refugee.
I was born in the family of artists who were honored by the British and Indian governments. Initially, my father did not allow me to go out and learn, so I started teaching painting to some children. One day I met a woman from Indore who brought Meera Bai doll for me. I liked the doll, and I wanted to know how it was made. I started making this doll with the help of that lady. After some time I was able to make dolls independently. One day I demonstrated my work at an exhibition organized by the government. There, I made Radha Krishna’s doll and won an award.
The government sent me for three months training program. I made the doll on ‘Mother’s Milk is the best food’ theme and won the state award for it in 1992. Then in 1993, I won an award for ‘Mother Teresa’ doll. I have also won district award for ‘Jute Ganesha’ doll. I got the chance to display my work in exhibitions in Bangalore, New Delhi (Crafts Museum & Centre for Cultural Resources and Training), Mumbai, Kolkata, etc.
I have trained more than a thousand people in this art so far. Many of them have won awards for this art. I was also invited by NABARD to give training to women. This is the least investment work. I want more and more women to learn this art and become self-dependent.