“We are heartbroken…A lot of research and hard work goes into our work. It really pinches us when our work is used without our consent and we aren’t even acknowledged.” The founders of the social enterprise, Bhuli took to social media to raise their voice against the unauthorized use of their artwork at Haridwar Railway Station.

Spotting their artwork on display at a prominent public place is a moment of pride for any artist. But not when the same has been done without their prior permission and without giving them credit for it.

The Bhuli team raised their concerns in a Facebook post as well: “Spotted at Haridwar Station, happy to see it up there! It says “Tribal art of Uttarakhand” (FALSE INFORMATION). Also, they didn’t give us any credits. A lot of hard work and research goes into each and every Bhuli series. This is simply unacceptable.”

Apart from using an artist’s work without her permission, the board at Haridwar Station also displays misleading information. The paintings are presented as “tribal art of Uttarakhand” which is not true. The three images are not tribal art. As confirmed to Alt News by the artist, Tanya, these are her creations and represent the costume culture of Odisha, Uttarkhand and Manipur. It is matter of concern that an artwork displayed at a public place in Uttarakhand wrongly calls costumes of other states created by an artist as tribal art of Uttarakhand.

Bhuli is a social enterprise founded by Tanya Kotnala and Tanya Singh with an aim to revive and interpret the spirit of India’s cottage industry through art and design. The stunning artwork showcases ethnic costumes from different states.

The founders have also tweeted to Union Minister, Piyush Goyal for his intervention in the unauthorized use of their artworks.

The Ministry of Railways has responded to the grievance raised by Bhuli. In a tweet, it said that the complaint has been forwarded to Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Moradabad.

Replying to a comment that they should feel happy that their work is being displayed, the artists summed up their stand: “Any art which is publicly displayed without the consent and acknowledgement of the artist is not publicity but theft.

By highlighting this story, Alt News hopes Bhuli will get justice. Action should be taken against those responsible for such blatant infringement of intellectual property rights, and the Bhuli team must receive due acknowledgment and royalty for the displayed artwork.

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