Biren Kumar Basak is an Indian handloom weaver from the Nadia district. He is the recipient of Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India.
He began his career in the 1970s after his family migrated to India. The family decided to settle in Phulia in Bengal‘s Nadia district, known as the hub of weavers. Biren Basak followed in his father’s footsteps, a master weaver of Tangail and Jamdani sarees. “We are a family of hereditary weavers. No one taught us weaving like done in some modern training centers,” he said.
The Padma Shri awardee started working when he was eight years old. He learnt the art to weave sarees on a pick-loom using cotton yarn borrowed from his father. “In 1975, my brother and I used to travel to Kolkata to sell our sarees door-to-door. We used to visit a house and first explain to them about Jamdani Tant sarees, which was a not-so-popular form of Tant sarees in those days,” he added.