"Hello, my name is Debadatta and I was born on April 23, 1972 in eastern India. Our town is the site of the famous temples of Lord Jagarnath. Our family has long been involved in painting the temples with the figures...
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"Hello, my name is Debadatta and I was born on April 23, 1972 in eastern India. Our town is the site of the famous temples of Lord Jagarnath. Our family has long been involved in painting the temples with the figures of gods and goddess. And since various festivals are held throughout the year, our family members are always occupied with this work.
"By painting the temples, we pay homage to our deities. It is like a duty for us and we need to do it diligently. I am the third generation in our family who is rendering service to the temples. Earlier, in the absence of paper and pen, people use to inscribe a person's astrological details in palm leaf. We use palm leaves to execute the beauty of Indian art.
"Everyone in our village is talented in painting. But painting was like an offering made to God and not a means of earning money, since we did not know anything about marketing strategies. It was only when a designer visited our village in 1989 that she saw our potential and showed us how skillful we were. She introduced our work to the market and the response we received was tremendous. However, despite the income from selling our products, we continued painting for our temples.
"I have participated in various festivals and exhibitions throughout India. Each exhibit I participate in opens up to new ideas, designs, and this gives me great sense of satisfaction. My paintings are basically taken from the Ramayana, Mahabarata and ancient manuscripts of Indian culture. I receieved the State Award for Palm Leaf in 1990 for my work on Krishna Leela.
"I also write a bit of poetry when I am free. My poems are a direct flow of my mind and thoughts. I write only spiritual poems, and this gives me the power of life. So far, three of my poems have been published. Before I end, I would like to share a line from a poem of mine – 'When I am gone, my spirit will work with you.' This is my promise to God."