Residing in the Thakurganj region of Lucknow, Naseem Bano leads a modest life. The announcement of her receiving the prestigious Padma Shri award stirred joy among the residents of her town, prompting them to gather outside her residence in large numbers to convey their congratulations. People from distant places traveled to join in the celebration. As a Chikankari artist, Naseem Bano has faced numerous challenges in her journey to impart training in this traditional art form to others.
Naseem Bano resides in Napier Road Colony Part 2 in Thakurganj, Lucknow, with her husband and children. The family sustains itself through Chikankari work, with Naseem’s son holding a BTech degree. With 45 years of experience in Chikankari, Naseem and her husband collaborate in their artistic endeavors.
Recalling the moment she received a call from a Delhi office informing her about the Padma Shri award, Naseem Bano expressed gratitude to God for the recognition. The news brought immense joy to her household. She inherited the art of Chikankari from her father, Hasan Mirza, who was honored with the National Award by the Central Government in 1969 for his distinctive Chikankari. Naseem has been practicing this craft since the age of 13. What distinguishes Naseem Bano’s Chikankari work is a special skill learned from her father, where the stitches underneath the fabric remain invisible when embroidered. She highlights that completing a kurta takes approximately two and a half to three months due to the intricacy of the work.
Naseem Bano has provided Chikankari training to 5000 individuals in India and abroad. Her reach extends to cities like America, Chile, New York, and Canada, where she introduced people to the unique art of Chikankari. Training sessions have also been conducted in the surrounding areas of Lucknow. Naseem emphasizes the unaddressed plight of hard-working artists in India, citing the difficulty of hand embroidery and the inadequate compensation received by artisans. She highlights the significant share taken by middlemen and has persistently urged the government to provide assistance to artisans, yet no help has been extended to date.
For her outstanding work, Naseem Bano has received multiple awards. In 1985 and 1988, she was honored by the then President R Venkataraman. Additionally, recognition for her contributions came from the Vice President.