Late Rajesh Gahlot inherited the knowledge of art from his ancestors; he had a lot of interest in Koftgiri art since his childhood. At the age of 16, he got initiation into this art. He got the district-level award at the age of 19 and the state award at the age of 22. Apart from this, he won the 2009 Rashtrapati Award, Rajiv Gandhi Award, and many other innumerable awards. He was the youngest artist in this field to achieve Rashtrapati Award.
His wife Smt. Shyamlata Gahlot learnt Koftgiri from him and her grandfather. Earlier she was not into this art but after Rajesh’s sudden departure, she decided to learn this art. She faced many challenges while undertaking training as many people believe that this art is not meant for women. Her father is her only support. Her grandfather and forefathers were renowned Koftgiri artists. In 1960 her great-great-grandfather was living in Deogarh Place under the Rajput ruler’s patronage. He created Koftgiri weaponry for Rajputs. His photo is displayed on the walls of Deogarh Palace. Smt. Shyamlata dedicated to dedicate her whole life to this art so that this art will never end. It’s her husband’s dream to keep this ancient art alive. She is the only female artist who knows Koftgiri art. She also conducts workshops and training sessions for art lovers. Her efforts are to give this art a distinct identity in India and abroad. Nowadays her son is practising Koftgiri to continue his family tradition. Smt. Shyamlata has successfully completed her doctorate in craft and social work and was awarded by Honorary Doctorate Award Council on 4th June, 2023.
Smt. Shyamlata Gahlot secured many awards:
• National Award in 2019.
• 2nd Winner of the ‘The Best Craftsman’, Uzbekistan in 2019.
• Outstanding Entrepreneur Award by South Indian Women Achievers Award (SIWAA), Hyderabad, India in 2019.
• World Craft Council 2nd prize.
• World Women Community 1st prize.
• World Human Rights Protection Commission (WHRPC) ‘Honorary Doctorate’ Award and its lifetime membership.
• A Consortium of Women Entrepreneurs of India’s ‘Exemplary Award’ for a contribution towards the traditional industries of India on the occasion of International Women’s Day and State Conference on IPR by Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, Rajasthan in 2020.