Two monsoons ago we were driving through Maharashtra heading southwards across the Western Ghat on a roadtrip which we eventually had to abandon due to excessively heavy rainfall, flooding and collapsing bridges.
Our last stop on that leg of adventure, which involved climbing up forts in the pouring rain with absolutely no visibility, was the Devrai Art Village run by the Mrs Mandakini Mathur. The art village trains tribals displaced from Naxal affected areas in Chhattisgarh to produce beautiful pieces of art using the Dhokra lost wax technique.
We enjoyed our time at Devrai and even tried our hand at making some of our own ‘art’ and so when we were planning this season of the podcast we wanted to have Mrs Mathur on to share the Devrai story with our listeners.
In this episode we chat with Mrs Mathur about their move from Mumbai to Panchgani, the work they do at the Devrai Art village, innovations with Dokhra and how the Devrai model can be used not only to preserve an ancient art form but also provide dignified livelihood to artisans.
To check out some pictures from Devrai and know more about our experience at the Devrai Art village which hosts a lovely little homestay read our post here.