This year, four distinguished personalities of Odisha have been selected for the prestigious Padma Shri. Pattachitra artist Binod Maharana from Khordha, is one of them.
Born in a poor family, he studied up to Class VII and then devoted his life to his family's profession of making ‘Pattachitra’. His first guru was none other than his grandfather. His contribution to spreading Odisha’s art, history, and culture through Pattachitra is immeasurable.
OTV caught up with the master artist at his residence. He was in an upbeat mood as he shared his feelings.
OTV: How did you react when you heard that you have been chosen for Padma Shri?
Binod Maharana: I was on cloud nine hearing the news. I had never expected that a Pattachitra artist would ever be selected for a Padma Award. I am thankful to those who recommended my name.
OTV: Do you know who had recommended your name?
Binod Maharana: I didn’t apply for the Award, nor do I know who had recommended my name. I think Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi might have recommended my name.
OTV: How your journey started?
Binod Maharana: Our is an artist family. Due to financial problems, my father wanted me to help him in shouldering the family burden. This is why I was attracted towards Pattachitra. Then I started learning the art from my grandfather Markanda Charan Maharana. Then, the art used to be known as ‘Patti Dian’. The word Pattachitra had not been coined then.
OTV: What do you want to say to the current generation of artists?
Binod Maharana: Young artists should work for the development of art. It will give them a livelihood but it requires dedication. The tendency of young artists to become famous overnight is not good for art.
OTV: To whom do you dedicate your award?
Binod Maharana: I would like to dedicate my award to those artists who toiled hard for the development of art and now are in their heavenly abode.