Raghurajpur is a heritage village in the Puri district of Odisha, India. It has preserved and cultivated the age-old traditional Pattachitra painting, Gotipua dance form and folk handicraft. Raghurajpur is the source of the painting that is annually displayed at the Jagannath Temple when the temple doors are shut for a few weeks.
This is the only heritage village in India, where all 160 families are dependent on art for their livelihood. In the village there are 11 national awardees, 3 national merit awardees and 5 state awardees for their excellency in art form.
The source of livelihood has dried out owing to Covid 19 and further detrimental conditions have arised post " Yaas" cyclone. The village artisans are now finding it difficult to sustain their survival needs. Unfortunately, many artisans had to leave artwork and join daily labour due to the pandemic outbreak.
When I was at Raghurajpur in 2018, I had the privilege to spend a few days with the villagers and learn about their work more closely. I recently got in touch with Jeetu who hesitantly requested some financial support for purchasing some food for him and his family. When enquired, the entire village is currently in a state where food supplies are low and they are finding it difficult to make ends meet as most of them only have one skill set which is art. The Pattachitra painting is a form of worship and they have faith that their art will soon help them come out of this phase of hardships.
Kindly requesting everyone to contribute to a small relief fund to help them get access for groceries and other essentials.