Puri: The Odisha Society of the Americas (OSA), a forum of US-based non-resident Odias, has recently provided start-up kits to 152 artist families in Raghurajpur, home of Odisha’s famous Pattachitra art, to kick start their unique art activities.
The crafts village, about 15 km from Puri town, is a village ruined, priceless pieces of art washed away by the cyclone Fani that barrelled through the Odisha coast near Puri on May 3 near Puri coast, wreaking havoc.
A team of the OSA visited the cyclone affected heritage village on June 11 and took stock of the situation. Later, they distributed start-up kits to 152 artist families.
OSA president Lalatendu Mohanty informed that the society has already offered more than Rs 1 crore to support rebuilding Odisha. OSA is also working with CYSD and a non-profit organization from Kerala to produce coco-timber from fallen trees and will provide hybrid coconut trees to restart the livelihood of other villagers.
Raghurajpur is a heritage crafts village known for its master Pattachitra painters, an art form which dates back to 5 BC in the region and Gotipua dance troupes, the precursor to the Indian classical dance form of Odissi.
It is home to around 700 people of 140 families, each of which has an artist, many of them award winners. But the extremely severe storm has not taken away the essence of generosity of the people.
The village is also known as the birthplace of one of the finest Odissi exponents and Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra.