Millennium Post

National puppet museum to come up in Kolkata

Upen Biswas, minister in-charge of Backward Classes Welfare Department said the museum will be set up this year itself and would preserve and showcase different types of puppets from across the country, particularly from the state. The museum is being set up at Kankurgachi.

The minister said they would soon introduce loan facilities to puppet makers and puppetry artists in the state.

Sonali Chakraborty, secretary of artists’ welfare organisation ‘Art Illuminates Mankind’, said the significance of the art of puppetry is immense in respect of the history of human civilisation and post-modern development.

‘After intensive researches, national and international scholars and scientists working in the cultural fields have concluded that puppetry had originated in India, particularly in old Bengal,’ she said.

In spite of puppetry being one of the most popular and profitable modes of entertainment in foreign countries particularly in Europe, the traditional art is still unused and neglected in India, including West Bengal.

Research has proved that puppetry is one of the most popular and powerful modes of entertainment to make public aware of particular subjects, she said.

To promote the art, ‘Karigar Haat’ - a 10-day art and cultural festival is being held at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum where puppeteers from all over the country would perform till 26 January.

The highlight of the festival is the display of a rare and almost extinct form of puppetry called ‘chadar badar’ from the tribal area of Birbhum district. Apart from this, other forms of puppetry including, rod, string, cloth and wooden are also being showcased.

Workshops, training, seminar and exhibition of puppets are being organised at the festival which aims to present that puppetry can be used as a powerful tool of communication to spread social messages.
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