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Bid to revive the waning Kagzi art of Chittorgarh

wzcc handmade paperUdaipur : In an attempt to contribute in the ongoing Swwach Bharat movement, the West Zone Cultural Center (WZCC) here has not only announced to use hand made papers for all official communications, but also taken up a task of educating people to make paper for themselves at home without much cost. The Cultural Centre is a set up to provide facilities for the creative development of performing arts, visual arts, literary work, folk, traditional and tribal art forms in the Western region of India. A workshop on Hand Made Paper (HMP) will be held at Shilpgram here from November 5 onwards which will see number of school children, tourists and the local people as participants.

“Post Gandhi Jayanti this year, we decided not to sell the old or unused publications, stationery and paper items, but to recycle them for HMP” said Shailendra Dashora, the Director. In the process we decided to educate people on the art of making Hand Made Paper which has got lost in today’s machine age, he said. “The idea here is to reintroduce traditional arts that were in danger, it looked like they may be lost,” Dashora said. “A lot of our people forgot the skills associated with the use of rags and thrash for paper making, and that’s why we have to be teaching that.” the director said. Mirza Akbar Beig a traditional artist hailing from a Kagazi family (community known for making hand made papers ) of Chittorgarh, will teach the participants in the art. Eight hundred years ago, the Kagzi craft travelled from the Arab countries to North India and few of the kagzi families had settled in at Sanganer. Mirza Akbar Beig’s family have been living at Gosunda village of Chittorgarh and engaged in the hand paper making art for decades now. However, the craze for glazed and glossy papers have been told to harm the traditional paper making industry.

In the first phase, the artists have dug a pit and soaked a pile of waste papers and stationary kit collected from the WZCC office. The papers were kept in water for 48 hours to prepare ‘lugdi’ or the pulp which with other things is used to make paper items. Right now, Mirza Akbar and his assistants are in the making of ‘Chappri’ which is one of the key element in building paper items. Wide variety of products from file covers to paper bags, lamp shades to envelopes and diaries could be made from the recycled paper sheets.

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