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Special girl paints picture of courage

Posted by UMSAS in Events, Press Clippings, Shilpotsav 2013 21 Dec 2013

- Loss of limbs fails to dent exemplary valour of Allahabad University student who feels disability is only a state of mind

Sarita Dwivedi performs at the exhibition in Patna on Friday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Sarita Dwivedi performs at the exhibition in Patna on Friday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Christy Brown could control only his left foot. Sarita Dwivedi has no option. At the age of four, she lost both hands and her right leg in an accident.

But like the Irish writer and painter who despite his cerebral palsy-induced disability wrote or typed with the toes of one foot (Brown’s life was depicted by Daniel Day-Lewis in the 1989 movie My Left Foot) Dwivedi has not given up. The 22-year-old painter is taking part in the ongoing art exhibition — Shilpotsav — and is enough motivation for people with such challenges. Upendra Maharathi Shilp Anusandhan Sansthan organised the Shilpotsav.

Sarita is the attraction at the programme because of her special abilities. She paints with her left foot and mouth. Holding paintbrush in her left foot and another in her mouth, Sarita was seen giving final touches to a Madhubani painting at the exhibition.

Sarita was one of the artists who have been specially invited by Upendra Maharathi Shilp Anusandhan Sansthan to attend the programme.

“When you have a normal child and when he/she does well in any field, it definitely makes you proud. But when your child is different from others (differently abled) and they perform well, it makes you feel even more proud. After the childhood accident, when Sarita lost her leg and hands, I was the one who was deeply affected by the incident. But now, when I look back, I don’t feel much pain.

Sarita is doing well in everything, including her studies. I am quite happy with her achievements,” said her mother Vimla Dwivedi.

She added that when Sarita was four, electrocution burnt the skin of her right leg and her hands. “The burn was so severe that doctors amputated Sarita’s right leg and hands to prevent spread of infection.”

So when did Sarita realise that painting was her passion?

“I was studying at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Allahabad. I used to participate in card-making and rangoli-making competitions in school. My drawing teacher Indu Pandey was so impressed with my painting that she kept motivating me to participate in competitions. However, it was only when I received Bal Shree Award, I realised I am passionate about painting,” she said.

“Only after my drawing teacher insisted me, I participated at a national-level contest organised by Rashtriya Bal Bhavan in 2006. Fortunately, I won the Bal Shree Award. The win instilled so much confidence in me that I decided that I had to take my painting seriously.”

“Ajay Jaitley, the head of fine arts department, Allahabad University, also pushed me to achieve my goal. I had met him in Class VI. He helped me learn the nuances of painting,” said Sarita, who has many awards to her credit like Mind of Steel Award given by the government of India among others.

Sarita is now pursuing her bachelor of fine arts from Allahabad University.

“I want to do masters in fine arts and want to see myself an established painter some day,” she added.

Any message she would like to share with those who are differently abled?

“Being physically challenged doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything. Disability is only a state of mind,” she said.

Source: The Telegraph

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