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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.

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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.

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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.


You may also like: In This Ghost Village of Uttarakhand, the Past Comes Alive on Its Painted Walls


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:

https://www.facebook.com/KiranNadarMuseumOfArt/videos/1492769134177274/UzpfSTI3MzA1ODIwOTgwNTA1MTozODM0MzMxNzU0MzQyMjA/

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