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Bhuri Bai, The Daily Wager Who Won a Padma Shri & Sold Pithora Art in Sotheby’s

Bhuri Bai, 52, from the Bhil tribal community of Madhya Pradesh is a Padma Shri awardee whose paintings have been exhibited the world over, including the UK and USA.

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Belonging to the Bhil tribal community in Madhya Pradesh, Padma Shri recipient and artist Bhuri Bai was not even allowed to think about painting. Today, she is not only the first female artist from the community to paint on paper but also a woman who won the fourth highest civilian award for her exceptional work.

Bhuri had a phase in life when she toiled hard as a construction labourer to earn Rs 6 per day. But her interest and talent in Pithora art took her to new heights.

As a child, she used to draw on the mud walls of her house. Later, with the support of artist Jagdish Swaminathan, she entered into the wide spectrum of art.

Today, her paintings are showcased at many galleries in and out of the country.

Instead of living in the glory, she went back to her village where girls are still restricted from practising any art. Bhuri teaches them whatever she has learned and helps in preserving as well as propagating the age-old art.

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“I am very honoured and proud to receive the award and I want to dedicate this to all the girls in rural areas who dare to dream and not let the circumstances define their life,” Bhuri said to The Better India.

Watch her empowering story here:

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