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A Little Kindness Transformed This Tea-Stall & the Life of The Widow Who Runs It!

Having lost her husband at a young age, the responsibility of supporting her family had led Dipti to open a tea-stall by the roadside.

If one is to skim through the historical tapestry of India, its penchant for art can be found quite evidently at any point in time. Yet somehow, art as a means to bring change or impact someone’s life is a concept that most people are cynical about.

But the story of Dipti Joshi and how art brought colours to her life would probably make most sceptics reconsider the power of art in impacting lives.

A native of Uttarakhand, Dipti had lost her husband at a young age, which put the entire responsibility of supporting her family of three on her shoulders.

To make ends meet, Dipti opened a tiny tea-stall along the roadside in Kumaon hills, and she barely managed to eke out a living with only a few customers halting at her shack, mostly truck drivers or travellers on road trips.

Source: KNMA.
Joshi Teas Stall. Source: KNMA.

Because of its dull appearance, even Dipti would not stay there longer than required. But not even in her dreams had she imagined that a chance halt by a group of people at her stall would forever end up changing her life.


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The folks belonged to Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in Delhi, who were on an off-site trip to the hills of Uttarakhand. Upon hearing her heartrending story, they decided to step in by bringing colours to the blank, lifeless walls of Dipti’s tea-stall with the help of few enthusiastic local school students.

With the sole intention of promoting art and its application to impact lives, the KNMA team undertook this endeavour for free.

School kids on work. Source: KNMA.
Josh Café. Source: KNMA.
Source: KNMA.

Keeping the spirit of the local culture and tradition of Kumaon hills, the ‘painters’ team decided to incorporate Aipan, the traditional painting style from Kumaon, on the walls of Joshi tea stall. And this intervention marked an overnight change in Dipti’s life.


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With a drastic change in its appearance and the shop’s name being rechristened as ‘Josh Café’, Dipti found more people and children slowly flocking to her stall along with a steady and better flow of income.

Amazing, isn’t it!

You watch the complete story of Dipti and Josh Café here:

KNMA Transforms: Josh Cafe- Nanital

Art is not just something to behold and admire. It has the power to transform lives. This is aptly demonstrated in this true story about a young widow who is the sole breadwinner in her family. This mother of three runs a small tea stall in the hills of Kumaon, Uttarakhand. Her shack was mainly frequented by drivers and staff of a nearby resort. The KNMA team, on an off-site trip to the hills of Uttarakhand, saw an opportunity to change that with the help of art. Using the walls of her stall as a blank canvass we transformed it. Even enthusiastic students from a local school pitched in. The motifs that were used are taken from "Aipan" – a traditional painting form of Kumaon. This was a purely philanthropic endeavor undertaken by KNMA. The Museum seeks only to promote and encourage art and its application and does not seek to generate revenue through its activities. Everything from admission to the Museum to the various workshops that KNMA regularly conducts is totally free and open to everyone.Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Saket, New DelhiFor more information Call: 91114916 0000Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm. #KNMATransforms #Aipan #ArtPromotion #PowerOfArt #ArtPower #CSR #ArtLife #Uttarakhand #Nanital #Eatry #hills #Himalyas #ArtIsForEveryone #ArtKNMA #AllAboutArt #Art #Artist #IndianArt #artisallaround #IndianArtist #ModernArt #ContemporaryArt #ContemporaryArtist #Museum #KNMA #KiranNadarMuseumOfArt #Delhi #IncredibleIndia #PositiveIndia

Posted by Kiran Nadar Museum of Art on Sunday, January 14, 2018

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Written by Lekshmi Priya S

Shuttling between existentialist views and Grey's Anatomy, Lekshmi has an insanely disturbing habit of binge reading. An ardent lover of animals and plants, she also specializes in cracking terribly sad jokes.