Swarna Chitrakar: Empowering Women Through Traditional Art in Rural Bengal

Swarna Chitrakar: Empowering Women Through Traditional Art in Rural Bengal

In the village of Naya in West Bengal’s Pingla block, Swarna Chitrakar has emerged as a prominent figure among the traditional scroll painters known as patuas. Her journey reflects not only personal triumph but also the resilience of the patua community in preserving their indigenous art form amidst challenges.

Swarna Chitrakar: A Beacon of Inspiration

Swarna Chitrakar’s story is one of overcoming adversity to become a symbol of empowerment for women in her village and beyond. From facing poverty and gender discrimination to achieving recognition on a global platform, Swarna’s dedication to her craft has inspired many.

Swarna’s Journey to Recognition

Swarna’s journey began with a passion for patachitra, traditional scroll paintings depicting daily life and stories through art and song. Despite financial struggles, she persevered and eventually gained recognition both locally and internationally for her exceptional work.

Impact on the Community

Swarna’s success has not only provided her with a livelihood but has also inspired other women in her community to embrace patachitra as a profession. This cultural resurgence has not only preserved a unique art form but also empowered women within the patua community.

Patua Art and Cultural Identity

The art of patachitra holds deep cultural significance for the patua community, reflecting their identity, daily life, and societal values. Through their paintings, the patuas convey messages of resilience, cultural pride, and social commentary, ensuring the preservation of their intangible heritage.

Preservation Efforts and Global Recognition

With support from non-profits, international organizations like UNESCO, and online platforms, the patua community, led by figures like Swarna Chitrakar, has gained global recognition. Their art continues to thrive, attracting interest and admiration worldwide.


Swarna Chitrakar’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of art in preserving cultural heritage and empowering communities. Through her dedication and resilience, she has not only elevated her own status but also revitalized a cherished tradition for future generations.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. Where is Swarna Chitrakar from?
    • A) Paschim Medinipur
    • B) West Bengal
    • C) Naya village
    • D) Pingla block
    • Answer: C) Naya village
  2. In what field has Swarna Chitrakar gained recognition?
    • A) Agriculture
    • B) Medicine
    • C) Scroll painting (patachitra)
    • D) Carpentry
    • Answer: C) Scroll painting (patachitra)
  3. Swarna Chitrakar participated in which international event in 2018?
    • A) World Economic Forum
    • B) United Nations General Assembly
    • C) UNESCO General Assembly
    • D) G20 Summit
    • Answer: C) UNESCO General Assembly
  4. What is the significance of patachitra paintings for the patua community?
    • A) Economic stability
    • B) Cultural identity
    • C) Political influence
    • D) Religious rituals
    • Answer: B) Cultural identity
  5. How has the patua community adapted to modernization in their art?
    • A) They stopped painting altogether.
    • B) They only use traditional paints and techniques.
    • C) They incorporate modern paints and varnish for longevity.
    • D) They have abandoned their traditional designs.
    • Answer: C) They incorporate modern paints and varnish for longevity.