Patna: India has its first train fully decorated with Madhubani paintings - the interiors and exterior of all the 24 coaches of the (12565/12566) Sampark Kranti Express that started its journey between Darbhanga and New Delhi on Thursday is adorned with the art form.
The railways had earlier experimented with Madhubani paintings on some coaches of the Patna-New Delhi Rajdhani Express.
The Sampark Kranti Express was decorated over around three months. Each coach was painted over by 30 artists who took four days per coach.
East Central Railway (ECR) chief public relations officer (CPRO) Rajesh Kumar said: "It is first train of the Indian Railways which has been decorated both outside and inside with Madhubani art.
"The motive is to popularise the local art form. The local art will get wide publicity and acceptance. It will also create job opportunities for the artists who are into the local art form because when the train will move from one place to another, many people will come and see it and the people will come to know about the history and art form."
Based on public response and the longevity of the painting, the ECR will think about decorating other trains originating from Bihar also with Madhubani art.
On the first day of the decorated Sampark Kranti Express' run, Samastipur divisional railway manager (DRM) R.K. Jain travelled on the train from Darbhanga station and reached Hajipur to gauge the people's response. Sonpur DRM Atulya Sinha and chief mechanical engineer Anil Sharma were also present at Hajipur railway station.
The Patna Rajdhani was also decorated with Madhubani paintings but that decoration was partial - only some coaches had the paintings.
Earlier, when the late LN Mishra was railway minister in Indira Gandhi's cabinet, he had started the Jayanti Janata Express, which used to run between Barauni and Delhi and had Madhubani paintings. Those paintings, however, used to adorn the interiors of the train.
Vinay Verma, a resident of Muzaffarpur town, remembered: "I had travelled once by this train from Muzaffarpur to Barauni and I spent the journey watching those beautiful paintings. I do remember having shared my experience with some my friends and one of them took a ride in this specially decorated train just to see those interiors."
Now the train is called Vaishali Express and runs between the same destinations as a daily super fast train.