March 15, 2002

Inspiration for the day



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Swapna of Kochumuttathu, Anathukuzhi Village, Pothanikkode, Thodupuzha

25 year old Swapna of Kochumuttathu, Anathukuzhi Village, Pothanikkode, Thodupuzha may be handicapped from birth.  But there is no blemish in the paintings done by her using the foot.

Swapna, the eldest child of Augustine, was born without both the hands.  Yet she has adapted her legs to do jobs like writing, painting, eating, stitching and attending the phone.  She is now in the midst of trying to market the greeting cards made from her paintings.

At the age of 6, after her initiation into the world of letters, she joined Mercy Home, an institution for the disabled.  It was there that she first learned to paint.  With the encouragement from inmates and staff, her talent blossomed.  She learned to hold the bottle of poster colour with the left leg and hold the brush with the other.  Now she can paint up to 4 hours at a stretch in this pose.

At this time she learned to dance too.  She won numerous prizes in painting at the district and state level while at school.

She won the first prize in painting in the National Festival for Disabled, conducted at Bangalore.  After passing 10th standard she joined St. Joseph’s College, Alappuzha.  She wrote the Pre Degree exam on her own without help from anyone.

Last April she went to Rajpura in Punjab to receive artificial hands.  However, prolonged use of legs had produced a haunch at her back and this prevented the possibility of fixing the artificial limbs.  However Swapna has no disappointments as she had gone to Punjab only to please her parents.

‘Roshni’, an NGO from Punjab, after hearing about her, converted a few of her paintings into greeting cards.  They sent her the proceedings from the sale of the cards.

Social Circle of State Bank of Travancore, Thodupuzha is now sponsoring her to learn painting formally under Jyothi, Director of Art Palace, Muttom.

Swapna’s sister Sobha is nurse at Dehradun.   Her brothers sibi and Siji are studying at college.


Courtesy: O.N.Rajagopal, Kerala Kaumudi

Contributed by: Administrator