In the last three decades, we have witnessed many traditional and folk art forms dying, dead or forgotten. The cyclone of so-called development has swept away traditional knowledge, art forms and important cultural values. The traditional folk art form of puppetry faces a similar crisis. To revive this traditional art form and to way out a livelihood opportunity Mukti has started an initiative to train the rural young generations of Sundarban.
For the successful implementation of this initiative, Mukti has inaugurated a puppet training program at Samiti Bhavan in Purba Sridharpur from 1st June 2022, Wednesday. 28 participants including Mr. Madhusudan Bairagi, Mr. Raghunath Bairagi, Mr. Somnath, Mr. Samar Halder, Mr. Hrikesh Halder, Mr. Shridam Mandal etc and 19 trainees (9 male and 10 female) have attended the inauguration program. Everyone present in the inauguration program started the program by singing Satyajit Ray’s “Aha Ki Ananda Akase Batase” and a Nazrul Geeti (song). Their interest in learning puppetry has been remarkable.
Under the training of the experienced trainer, Mr. Pradeep Sarkar, 14 trainees will take 2 hours of training once a week. It will take 6-8 months to complete the training. Along with the trainer two puppeteers – Mr. Subhajit Sardar and Mr. Iswabroto Joyaddar have come to help him by holding the puppets. This group will be called “Mukti Putul Gosthi” (Mukti Puppet Group).
After the training, when they go to perform Mukti will help them with puppets. In return, Mukti will take some money from them as a security deposit so that no one damages the puppets.
With the traditional glamour and heritage of puppetry Mukti want to re-establish the original role of puppetry and have many new ideas to develop it as an educational tool.