Manjula Thakur was married at age 12. By the time she was 20, she had three children. At 32, she still did not know how to read or write. Her world was limited to the four walls of her house. Instead of taking care of the family, her husband spent the little they had on alcohol.
What kept Manjula going was her love of art. Like generations of Maithili women before, her mother had taught her how to make traditional clay murals and paint the walls of their home.
Even after getting married, she spent hours painting the walls and floors of her home. What she did not know was that the art she learnt as a child would help her gain fame and independence now in her 50s.
“Mithila paintings have taken me not only around the country but also around the world,” says Thakur, who has been to the United States and Spain to exhibit her paintings.