Narmada Prasad Tekam came to Bhopal in 1983, a few months after Jangarh Singh Shyam. His talent was discovered by a student of the contemporary artist, J Swaminathan in Patangarh.
As a child, when Narmada took the cattle out to graze by the banks of the River Singni, he taught himself to draw by making an imprint of himself in the sand and then tracing the outline with a stick. Later, he started painting on the walls of his house with black and yellow clay. His themes were varied – from figures of humans, animals and birds to gods, like Hanuman. For colour, he used pigments extracted from leaves and flowers. His motifs have changed over the years, and now he draws mainly tigers, deer, birds and porcupine.
Narmada Prasad contributed his illustrations of goddesses to the bilingual book, Gond Devlok by Dr Dharmendra Pare, published by the Adivasi Lok Kala and Tulsi Sahitya Academy – goddesses like Bahri Batorandevi, who sweeps away poverty and sorrow; Chausat Joghan, who controls the sixty four directions; Bangari Devi the ghost catcher; Galharin Devi, guardian of the streets; Tiptahin Devi, who shields us from witchcraft; Badavan Devi, goddess of abundance.
Narmada Prasad has travelled extensively showcasing his paintings and currently works as an artist in the Adivasi Lok Kala Parishad. In 2006, Narmada Prasad Tekam, was awarded the Shikhar Sanman by the Government of Madhya Pradesh.