Sikki Grass Craft by Artisan Dhirendra Kumar from Bihar, India (National Awardee)
Hi! I am Dhirendra Kumar, a sikki grass artisan. I was born on July 17, 1967, in Rampur, Bihar. I was interested in arts and crafts since childhood. In my childhood, I used to do clay modeling and fine arts.
Sikki the golden grass (globally known as Vetiver Grass) has a long life. Traditionally, various types of plates, creatures, toys, etc. were made by hand knitting technique. After completing my graduation, I started making sikki grass paintings. I used this grass to make pictures of Lord Ganesha, Lord Mahadev, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Village Life, etc. Currently, I am making more than 150 products with sikki grass. My work has been liked by many people.
In 2004, I established “Rachna Sikki Hastha Kala Kendra” with the aim of promoting the art of sikki golden grass and creating employment opportunities for women. I had to invest my father’s pension to promote this art. Many women and girls are doing this craftwork from their home, and they are earning their livelihood.
I worked as a master trainer in the Art Gallery and Production Center started by the Bihar government in 2013. I am also taking classes at Upendra Maharathi Shilp Anusandhan Sansthan in Patna. Lalit Narayan Mithila University is running a certificate course of “Sikki Grass Craft” through UGC (University Grants Commission). There I am working as a teacher. So far, I have trained more than 450 students.
I was awarded the State Award and National Award in the year 2016. I am working hard to get the Shilp Guru award.
I have exhibited my work many times at the India International Trade Fair in New Delhi, Dastkari Mela, Dilli Haat, Crafts Council of India in Chennai, etc.
I hope this unique artistic craft will be appreciated by art lovers. This will encourage me and also the artisans of the village associated with this art.