Video | Adivasi pithora artist Desing Rathwa: An art form noted for being spontaneous and detailed – Gujarat & Madhya Pradesh

The clip opens with a description of Bhasha’s publishing activities and role in Gujarat’s general education system. It features Desing Rathwa, a adivasi pithora artist belonging to Rangpur Sadli Village near the border between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Desing used to work as a daily wage labourer earlier. Several years back when Bhasha started work with adivasi artists, Chiliyabhai Rathwa from the same village became part of the artists co-operative. Chiliyabhai, who passed away a few years back, was a wonderfully gifted pithora artist. Desing comes from the same family of artists. He used to draw pithoras on cloth.

When Bhasha started the Bol magazine for tribal children, we invited Desing to draw the illustrations. Desing has not been to school and therefore the stories were read out to him. His illustrations, detailed and spontaneous, became extremely popular with children. The Bol magazine is subscribed by Gujarat’s Primary Education Programme for its 10,000 schools in tribal areas of the state. Since then, Desing draws illustrations for the Bol magazines and cover designs for Bhasha’s tribal literature books.

Source: message by Sonal Baxi, Bhasha Research and Publication Centre (Vadodara, Gujarat), 18-9-2012 –

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