Mrunal Manmay Dash

A hand-painted ‘kalash’ (Earthen Pot) crafted by renowned Odia artist Suryasnata Mohanty was selected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to offer soil to the Amrit Kalash to mark the culmination of 'Meri Maati Mera Desh' campaign in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The intricately designed kalash bore the age-old ‘jhoti chita’ tradition of Odisha which was liked by the PM very much.

Daughter of educationist Bijay Kumar Mohanty and Renubala Mohanty, Suryasnata excels in designing earthen pots and giving them traditional colors.

Speaking with OTV, Suryasnata said, “I had never expected that my Kalash would be seen in the hands of Prime Minister Modi. But the Kalash looked beautiful for sure. I knew everybody would love it. In fact, appreciation started to pour in even before I finished giving the kalash its final color. It took me three days to finish the kalash. I remember working from 10 am till midnight for those three days.”

“As far as Odisha is concerned, you can find artists in every home. I was attracted to the ‘jhoti’, ‘chita’ the women paint on the floors and walls of homes during Thursdays of Odia Margashira month from my childhood. That is why I always say art is not limited to any individual. It cannot be put inside a boundary,” she said.

It can be noted that PM Modi on August 15 had announced the 'Meri Mati Mera Desh' campaign and Amrit Kalash Yatra to honour the martyred bravehearts of the country. Subsequently, an "Amrit Kalash Yatra '' was organised under the campaign during which selected youths from 7,500 gram panchayats across India assembled at Kartavya Path in Delhi with 7,500 urns carrying soil from across the nation along with saplings.

During the course of the event, PM Modi watched a digital exhibition of ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign and laid the foundation stone of Amrit Vatika and Amrit Mahotsav Memorial. He said the Amrit Mahotsav Memorial will tell the coming generations about the historic occasion.

The PM also launched an autonomous body -- Mera Yuva Bharat (MY Bharat) -- which will help set the focus of the government on youth-led development and make the youths "active drivers" of development.

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