Light Makers of Chandernagor, West Bengal


One man's passion has made Chandernagor, a former French colony synonymous with light makers. Sridhar Das, fascinated by the working of electric objects gave rise to this 50-year-old cottage industry of a unique art of illumination. These exquisite illuminations are based on primitive equipments. An example of the art is a fan roller, which rotates, and the wooden cylinder with its copper strips light up and switch off thousands of little light bulbs on the bamboo trellis frame. Presently, this craft is providing livelihood to about 12,000 artisans in Chandernagor. As this crafts include, light-makers, raw material suppliers, artists (who make design) carpenters (who make the wooden frame for the bamboo structure) and the entire team that makes the circuits. But the increasing cost of power has affected this cottage industry.

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