CyberFair Project ID: 8190

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Patachitra
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Lakshmipat Singhania Academy
    Kolkata, West Bengal, India

12 students, ages 13 to 15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 1, 2017. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2016

Classes and Teachers: Class 11 Humanities, Ms, Meena Kak, Ms. Nandini Chanda, Ms. Sudakshina Datta, Ms Sanzeeda Mirza, Ms. Amritah Sen, Mr. Kanak Sh. Mukherjee, Mr. Manoj Das and Mr. Niladri Kumar Motilal

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

‘Kolkata’, the name conjures up images of the intelligentsia engaged in hastily discussions over endless cups of tea among clouds of smoke, hand pulled rickshaws and lumbering trams. The cultural capital of India has been the breeding ground for renowned bards, economists, beauty queens, famous authors and singers. Kolkata is a very old city. The people of Kolkata are mainly Bengalis. In Kolkata many freedom fighters and social reformers like Raja Rammohan Roy, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Baghajatin and many others were born and brought up. Kolkata is known as the ‘city of joy’. Kolkata is the city of festival. Every day is a celebration in Kolkata. The best time to visit the city the Kolkata is during Durga Puja which generally takes place between September and October. During this time of the year the entire city is light up with millions of lights. It is decorated like a princess to welcome Maa Durga. The city has a rich culture. Traditional songs like ‘Rabindra Sangeet’ and ‘Shyama Sangeet’ have many patrons across the globe. The city has excellent art and crafts to offers ranging from Jamini Roy Paintings to traditional ‘tant’ sarees of Bengal. A home to stalwarts like Satyajit Ray, Mother Teresa and Sushmita Sen among others, greatness is but a way of life to the city. In Spite of modern invasions, the city has retained its old warm charms. Be it hand pulled rickshaws, trams, ‘adda’, ‘mishtidoi’ and ‘rosogolla’, Kolkata has it and flaunts it with elan. Kolkata is a concoction of the old and the new. It has ardently held on to its roots, has donned a new name but retained its old identity.

2. Summary of Our Project

The project describe more about Patachitra, a traditional, cloth- based scroll painting, based in the eastern Indian. In the Sanskrit language, 'Patta' literally means 'cloth' and 'Chitra' means 'picture'. Most of these paintings depict stories of Hindu deities. The practitioners of this craft form differ from the usual painters in the sense that they are known as 'patidars' and not 'chitrakars' which relates to the normal painters. This craft is made on cloth which is treated with cow dung, lac and black earth. The treatment makes the cloth thick thereby making the cloth easy to work. The outlines of the figures are made in black (derived from lamp black) and red. The scroll paintings are then painted with vegetable colours which not only make the paintings very bright but also add life to the pata chitra or scroll paintings. These paintings are therefore so bright even if they are 50-60 years old. The subjects of these scroll paintings are religious as also story from everyday life. The pata chitra practitioners or the patidars had a unique style of presenting their craft. The patidars go to different villages and convey the stories of these paintings with songs. The songs are of wide variety ranging from traditional mythological tales and tribal rituals to stories based on modern Indian history and contemporary issues like protecting forests and preventing spread of HIV/AIDS. Patidars generally use natural colours, which they procure from various trees, leaves, flowers and clays.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Internet play such as precious role along with our field to complete our project. It helps us to get additional information to develop our informatic website.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Time constraint : Our group members faced difficulties in finishing the project. It is because we got to know about the project very late. Unit tests, Block Tests and school programmes were scheduled and the teachers along with the students were also quite busy. So, we had to arrange our procedures reasonable to complete the project before the due date. Crafts workshop dates : We had to face a lot of difficulty in getting the Patachitra artisans for conducting the workshop in schools as they had become busy in participating in various handicrafts exhibition held at various places all over West Bengal during the months of December and January. Technical difficulties: The school labs were often occupied for practical classes. Limited number of computers at school could be provided to complete the project. That delayed our project. Language: Information that we had collected regarding our project was in Bengali language. We had to translate to English with the guidance of our English teachers without changing the actual meaning.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Cyber fair organizations gave such a wonderful opportunity to students & the school to collaborate with an International School based project. The project also improved student’s research based skills, with the team participating at the global level.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Certain subjects in our school curriculum are related to our tradition and culture. The topics gave emphasis on the need to preserve the uniqueness of the culture. Patachitra , a dying art of West Bengal, was placed as a small portion in History books, could be revived. The main purpose of this revive the dying art and create an awareness about that rich art form to the next generation, who otherwise would not have been able to preserve the art form. The community now felt that yes, West Bengal does have a rich art which had a story depicted on it and could be explained to the community through songs. Making cards in patachitra and presenting it to one of the helpers of the Society, the traffic Police not only made them feel wanted but also gave us the opportunity to reach out the art form to the people who might be unaware of it.Thus, the project was able to preserve the culture and traditions of the Indian community.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

1. Crafts workshop held in schools for class IX students, where the students learnt how to draw and paint the story. 2. They learnt the songs that were conveyed through Patachitra. 3. Organized a workshop on Patachitra for the students of other schools of Kolkata, where they can come, learn and pass on the art form in their own schools. 4. Conducted a crafts exhibition on the last working day before the winter vacation, where parents were invited to attend the exhibition and also buy paintings. 5. Students prepared greeting cards to be distributed to the helpers of the community (the traffic police) as a token of gratitude for the hard work they do to keep our society safe. 6. Visited the Handicrafts fair held in the month of December, 2017 at Melan Mela to interact with the artisans. 7. Visited the village and the place of crafts to find the root. 8. Patachitra became the theme of our alumni night where an awareness was created among our ex-students about the art.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

1. Team members of the project video recorded the interviews and understood the problems of the artisans that they face in their real life. 2. Team members acted as spokespersons for our project online by creating our website and the project related pass on social networking site. 3. Team members act as ambassadors and spoke persons in persons by presenting our project workshops in house and for other schools. Conducting crafts exhibition on patachitra. 4. Creating greeting cards based on patachitra by the students of class V- X.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The project has already started to give impact on regenerating the lost charm of Patachitra which had proved to be a successful one. Our project also gives big impact in to promoting our own culture and traditions of reviving the dying art through workshops at school level.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Local members like students and teachers of other schools, parents, school ex-students, traffic Guards of the locality contributed ideas and volunteered to review our project. They also gave some opinion to improve the project qualities.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The interesting discoveries we had learn from this project is the finding of resources. The data was very useful for our school organization to organize different activities and workshops. Involvement of community helped project team members to learn and be aware about the tradition and culture of Indian communities.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8190)

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