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Debabrata Rui Das

Debabrata proves that one man’s trash could become another man’s masterpiece. Born and raised in a Bahiri, a village in the Birbhum district of West Bengal, Debabrata grew up watching his family create wood carvings. With a penchant for design and art, he took up an interior design course at Visva Bharati in Shantiniketan. During a five-day workshop on ‘Exposure to Material’, Debabrata was inspired to upcycle waste and scrap materials into art.

He has been doing this for close to four years and even has his own employee, a young local boy. Most of his finished pieces are decorative items made out of waste wood, paper or metal. His work has an abstract and ethereal quality that makes it unique.

“I don’t earn much out of my art. Sometimes I am lucky and get a big project which can fetch up to forty thousand. But my main aim is to spread awareness of how we can use waste to make beautiful things. And unlike other crafts, there is no trouble with getting raw material! I’d also like to give others in my village job opportunities in this field. They help me when I get these big projects. We all work together.”

With global and Indian focus on sustainability, Debabrata believes in the potential of upcycling. Who’d believe discarded washers could be turned into a bowl that looks funky and is useful for storage!