Chaiwala To Craftsman: Transformation Of Odisha’s Ved Vikash During Lockdown


Bhubaneswar: The prolonged lockdown, necessitated by the deadly coronavirus pandemic, has robbed the livelihood of many. But several others have used the time as an opportunity to excel. For instance, take the case of Ved Vikash Sahoo.

The city-based Ved Vikash, who used to sell tea, has unleashed the creative instinct in him to turn into an amazing craftsman.

He has been using old newspaper to depict Odisha’s art and culture. Among his creations are the iconic Eiffel tower and many home decor items. He has been doing paintings also.

“I started working on all these from the early days of lockdown,” said the chaiwala.

“I have a cafe in a van in the Infocity area here. When lockdown started, I was very stressed with my business. To divert my mind, I started doing these crafts,” he revealed.

“I was passionate about painting and doing crafts since my childhood. But I had not been getting time to pursue it. During lockdown, I got ample time to work on my passion,” he remarked.

“I am making these crafts with paper only, using glue and water colour if necessary. I observed that people waste old newspapers, so I thought of reusing them in my work. I roll the papers neatly and stick them in various shapes with the help of glue,” said Ved Vikash.

“I have made more than 30 crafts during lockdown period so far, including Lord Jagannath, Konark temple, Shri Khetra, Chariots of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, Eiffel tower and many more,” he informed.

His latest ‘project’ is Ram Mandir. “I started making Ram Mandir from its Bhoomi Pujan day,” he added.

Ved Vikash’s dream is to train teach school children his craft. “I want to promote art and culture of Odisha through this,” Ved Vikash said.

Ved Vikash, who is from Patnagarh in Balangir district, came to Bhubaneswar three years ago. He did a course on Hotel Management and worked in the hotel industry for five years outside Odisha.

“Then I thought of starting my own business. That is why I came to Bhubaneswar. I have a cafe in a van. I used to sell tea there. I will decorate my cafe with some of these craft works,” he said, adding that he has been giving these items to friends and relatives as gifts.

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