The second phase of Dhar Festival January 2008
(Exhibition, Sit & draw comp
etition, portfolio release and movie shows)

The people of Sub-mountainous region of Dhar Block

I had arrived here at a crucial point of time, and have stayed here for twenty five years. So I was able to witness two phases of social life in this region.

For first few years, I was able to watch the old form of society with its traditional values closely. The old form of society not only had a different set of values but a different type of life style too.

Many of the traditional ways of that lifestyle are centuries old and had been followed by hill people here as those ways had been accepted in this area from generations in "Pahari" tradition.

When I first came here, people born and brought up in the old system of lifestyle were in the dominant positions in the society. Gradually time and old age took its toll on the older generation and steadily increasing pressure created by exposure to the outer world, especially through televisions and magazines, changed the social system with increasing rapidity.

Changes came with mixed blessings of positive and negative factors both. Many of the positive and healthy human values gave way to unscrupulous money minded opportunist attitudes while several harmful social blockages were removed.

Many more people are concerned about the outer world here today. The world outside is being brought nearer day by day by the advent of modern information technology.

The most remarkable positive change is the spread of education. This has been brought about by the development of the feeling that education for boys and girls, is necessary in life. The barrier between boys and girls in social acceptance has been eroded to a great extant. This has led to an influx of private schools which definitely impart much better quality education than governments educational institutions here.

Economic expectations and income has increased amongst the common people, while "needs" have increased greatly. shops selling stationary and cosmetics have been set up at many places of the main road and on by lanes too.

This proves that the buying capacity of the common people has increased significantly. Moreover, the growth of small scale industries such as sheet metal works, baking units, quality furniture making workshops and welding workshops have also contributed to the development of this area.

The new generations is much more development oriented in the remote villages here and are quite conscious about the country and the outer world.

There are still many setbacks and difficulties to overcome, but the general trend of the economy shows an upward rising graph.

Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts is doing its best to increase the cultural consciousness of the common people as we believe that the spread of healthy culture is one of the best ways to develop a society from grass roots level, so the Academy takes on interactive projects with the people from all walks society here at Dhar block. I find that, information technology is accepted with a positive and hopeful attitude, here and the Academy projects to involve local village people in the programmes that take the help of modern information technology are very successful.

The second phase of the festival of Dhar block concentrates on the people of Dhar block, so I have drawn a set of colour sketches of people of Dhar block at their work places. The pencil sketches were made from life and are interesting visual records of the society here.
Prabal Pramanik

Online exhibition of sketches of people of Dhar block by Prabal Pramanik. This online display focus on the rural folk of this region– the foot hills of the Himalayas in Dhar block of Punjab in northern India. Quite a few common village people at work in this area that was termed "backward" by many before, have been drawn with sensitive lines and coloured with crayons.

One can observe people at work from different professions in village life. Tailormaster, sheet metal worker, tea shop owner, shopkeeper selling cosmetics and stationary items, village grocer, rural baker with his old fashioned oven and baking trays, "dhaba" or restaurant cook making rotis, village post master, auto rickshaw driver, village mason at work and many others have been depicted here.

I believe in the grass roots orientation of culture, so involment of the rural common people is very important for me and I consider the coordination of the villagers vital for the development of the cultural world here.
Prabal Pramanik

These pictures were made with pencil, crayons and pastels on paper.
The sketches were made directly on the spot.

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The second sit & draw art programme organized by Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts held at Shaheed Ram Singh Pathania Memorial College, Niari on 20th January 2008

This programme was attended by seventy children from several schools of the sub-mountainous region of Dhar block of Punjab. Satya Vidya Mandir of Bhamlada, Vivekaansh Vidyalaya of Bhatwan, Uday Memorial Public School of Dunera, Maharana Pratap Adarsh Vidyalaya of Niari and Nalanda Public School of Dunera took part in this programme.

Several teachers from schools came and this occasion offered an opportunity to interact and co-ordinate between different educational institutions of this area. The subject for the "Sit and draw" art programme was "Your village" and "Anti-smoking".

The children were in two age groups – 6 to 12 years and 12 to 18 years. After the art programme, interviews of many of the students who attended the programme, teacher and even guardian was video taped. The students talked intelligently about this programme and wanted to attend more such programmes in future. Such programmes develop the cultural aptitude of the children in this region and create social consciousness.

The increase in the number of children participating in this programme shows the growing popularity of such functions in this area. The programme received good coverage from press too.


We will appreciate your comments that you send by e-mail about our online show. Since we believe in exposing the village people of this area to internet, you, by sending your comments are directly linking your self with the rural folk in a remote part of India.
I believe that the real progress of mankind is possible when people of the world link together from different corners of this planet with a humane attitude.
Thank you
Prabal Pramanik

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Prabal Pramanik sketching a villager at work.

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Local visitors at Kalyani art Galarey of Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts, Bhamlada, viewing the exhibition of "sub-mountainous area of Dhar Block" (Second Phase).
The second phase of this exhibition  fetures on the people of Dhar Block.

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Village children enjoying the sketches of some local people by Prabal Pramanik at Kalyani Art Gallery at Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts.

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Children viewing the movie "The people of Shivaliks" at Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts.


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The Academy held an online educational show accompained with informative lecture, at Shaheed Ram Singh Pathnia Memorial College, Niari in Dhar Block, Punjab, India on 30th January 2008. This is a massive and significant step towards connecting the people of this area with modern information technology.

I believe that spread of information technology through global mass media, with the help of satellite system is a must for development.

Internet  not  only  brings  outer  world  closer to a remote  rural person,  it  also  provides  that   villager  to  reach  out to the outer world by being able  to   communicate  and  send out his  or  her  views.  For this reason the website hosts an online magazine through which the local villagers can express their views and creative impulses. This online magazine also allows the local rural people a measure of self respect and helps to develop social consciousness. This online magazine publishes articles and poems in local languages. At this online show the internet magazine, "Art Inspiration" was also projected in mega size for the viewers to enjoy.

I believe that just by giving "calls" for development the development does not occur in real practical sense. It requires real life dedicated and sincere activity to materialize any form of development. The practical work in reality matter only in the long run.

Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts by setting a pioneer practical example of bringing information technology with the help of modern mass media in this remote part of a developing country, without any government grant or assistance has laid a milestone in the way to socio-economical progress of this region. The impact and importance of this work will be felt not only now, but also by generations to come. The packed hall of the college, the attention of the viewers and the feed back of the programme prove this.

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