Source: Amar Ujala

 

Usha Jha: Become the face of Bihar’s Madhubani art

The story of Usha Jha is a story of many women of India yet so very different. The owner of Petals Crafts which she established in 1991, she had to overcome a lot of adversaries to march towards her dream of becoming a self-reliant and empowered women in a patriarchal society.

Petal Crafts has travelled a long mile since its inception and have its international presence now. It is registered under Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) program of the Government of Inia (GOI). As a member of MSMEs, Usha Jha presented the Petals Crafts in two international stages such as “India Show” St. Petersburg, Russia in 2009; and “World Indian Festival” in Singapore in 2014. Though directly into the export, the products of Petals Crafts are in demand in many nations through NRIs and her stint aboard. Petals craft has a client base in all over India and other countries like the United States and Dubai. Within India, some of the largest buyers of her products are Indian Railways, Banks such as State Bank of India and Government of Bihar. The famous Mithila paintings of Petals crafts find its space in trains like Gareeb Rath and Sampoorna Kranti etc.

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Usha has somehow become the face of this industry in Bihar. When erstwhile President Pratibha Patil visited Bihar, she was gifted a 14-foot painting that still hangs in the Rashtrapati Bhavan. “That was done by us,” she says proudly. Another interesting anecdote she shares is about a tourist from Sweden who asked his taxi driver to take him to an art gallery or museum in Patna. The driver did not know what an art gallery was so he brought him to Petals Craft. Usha says, “He may not have found an art gallery but he did like our merchandise and, happy to see our art, bought a lot of gifts for his family back home.” Usha savours and respects all the goodwill she and her team have earned over the years. With the long distance she has traversed, she chooses to count the blessings rather than the challenges.

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