Agartala, Sept 13 : Necessity is the mother of invention. The necessity to lead a normal life and earn a livelihood made Nikhil Mahaja of South Tripura District to experiment with broken glasses and today he has created a new art from what was considered useless pieces of broken glasses.
Nikhil has become an inspiration for many unemployed youth in the State who want to make a name for themselves in the world. Nikhil from South Tripura district didn't have a job when he came to Agartala in the early nineties. Having nothing better to do, he joined a glass shop to earn a livelihood. He saw broken glasses being thrown away, and decided to find a way of using them. Today he has become an expert in his work on broken glass. His work has been exhibited in many national and international exhibitions and is a source of inspiration to the local youth. "I was working at a glass shop from 1990 and during that time I noticed that glass which is transported from Kolkata and from other states is often broken into small pieces on its way and these small pieces did not have any use. So I tried to use the broken pieces of glass for making some useful items through which I could earn something," said Nikhil Mahaja, the glass artisan from Tripura.
Nikhil has become an inspiration for many to get self-employment. His neighbour Dilip Kumar Roy says, "This work is appropriate for self help groups and unemployed youth of our state and can help them become economically self sufficient with a very small investment. People can earn well by marketing the items not only at the national but also at international level." Even after getting a government job in 1995, Nikhil continued with his craftwork. It was his will power and determination, which kept him going and enabled him to master his craft. Talent needs to be honed and the winning edge comes only with steely determination. People like Nikhil are torchbearers and inspirational figures in a State like Tripura, which has limited resources, and opportunities as it has been affected by insurgency. Nikhil has shown the way that it is possible to become economically self-sufficient without any major investment - all you need is inner strength. By Pinaki Das