Sircilla craftsman Veldi Hari Prasad weaves 'Jana Gana Mana' on silk fabric

When the nation is celebrating 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav', a Sircilla man joined the revelry by 'weaving' his way to limelight

Sircilla craftsman Veldi Hari Prasad weaves Jana Gana Mana on silk fabric

HYDERABAD: When the nation is celebrating 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' with euphoria, a Sircilla man too joined the revelry by 'weaving' his way to limelight.

Veldi Hari Prasad, a power loom weaver of Nehru Nagar in Sircilla, came up with a silk fabric that sports the National Anthem, 'Jana Gana Mana..' in Telugu. Interestingly, he chose simplicity and elegance to weave this two-metre-long masterpiece. With violet at the background, it features India's map in tricolour with the Ashok Chakra in the middle and the Telugu version of the National Anthem running down below.

Speaking to NewsTAP, the 35-year-old said the idea germinated from the thought that even the weaver's community should do its bit to commemorate India's 75th year of Independence. "The idea crossed my mind when I wanted to create something to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The planning took one month. We started the work a week back but were able to finish it in four days flat. We used technology in design-making before embarking on the weaving work," he said.

There may have been many who had woven creative silk robes in the past, but Hari Prasad claims his work is unique in many ways. "Firstly, this is not a silk saree but a two-metre-long fabric. And more strikingly, it was woven with no stitches, which is also one of its kind.

"In addition, it has significant zari work, involving a lot of threading", he said.

What are his plans with this commemorative silk work? "Well, I intend to present this to either Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan or Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao or any other significant personality. But I'm also ready to put it up for sale or keep it with me forever."

And, how much would it cost to make this a proud possession? With a pause and a modest smile, he says that the extensive silk and zari work that went into its making alone would put it in the price range of Rs 20,000-25,000.

While the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav-themed silk fabric fills his heart with a great sense of accomplishment, Hari Prasad is also quick to recall his two earlier works that earned him nationwide recognition.

"The micro miniatures of handloom replicas that I made went as far as Delhi and other states. Some of them were presented to top political luminaries like Pranab Mukherjee, Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi.

Ponnam Prabhakar and several other Telangana politicians are top buyers of my micro art works", he said.

The Sircilla weaver also continues to pride on the thin silk saree he wove five years ago, something that fits into a match box. There were many in the past who pulled this feat off, so what's so special about his work? Hari Prasad claims that, contrary to others' works, his silk saree could actually be worn. And, the zari threading on it comes as the icing on the cake while others could weave it with only silk thread.

Hari Prasad is one of the four siblings (brothers) who learnt the rudiments of weaving from his parents. After finishing his 10th standard, he kept up his close and long association with his father which helped him master the craft and scale new heights in creative weaving.

The ebullient craftsman is also happy for the fact that their weaving community in Sircilla had its hands full with work after the TRS Government awarded them the Tricolour contract. Father of a young daughter, Hari Prasad wants to impart weaving in general and its creative art in particular to the posterity. But, he says he can achieve this only with a bit more support from the government.

"Only a few are blessed with this art. And this should be taken into the future. I live in a rented house. If there is government support in the form of either power looms or an allotment of a piece of land, I can train and impart the skills to youngsters to take up this craft. Already, I have trained two who are doing a good job", he said.

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