A painting for President, from a differently abled boy artist

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Vadodara, Feb 21 (UNI) Calcium deficiency has made fourteen-year-old Rizwan Sheikh' bones so brittle that he can neither stand nor sit, but is pleased that he has been requested to make a special painting for President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.

Rizwan paints by lying down on his stomach, sketching a picture of a blue pool fringed by fronds of grass, on the banks of which stands a lofty gateway that resembles the India Gate in New Delhi.

His sketches and paintings have become a big draw at the ongoing United Way of Baroda NGO mela at the Polo Ground here.

Working on a painting at a stall, Rizwan said, "Bal Bhavan, a city-based NGO where I am learning painting and artwork, has asked me to paint one piece to be gifted to the President when I will be given a prize." He is the only one with physical disability among the three students from Vadodara selected to receive the "Bal Shree" award from the President.

A class IV student of Vadodara Municipal Corporation school at Fatehgunj, Rizwan lives with his mother.

"In my first attempt at the art competition, I have been able to get the award. One should always aim high," he said adding that he wanted to be a mechanical engineer when he grew up.

His mother, Salma Sheikh, who had accompanied him at the fair, said, "he not only paints well but also repairs electrical items at home." Rizwan's art teacher Hamendra Bhatt, from the NGO V-One society, said, "our main aim is to develop talents of differently abled children rather than burdening them with books." Elaborating, he said, "after a child gains confidence, it is easier to bring him into the mainstream." Along with Rizwan, D N Ramakrishan and Yudhajit Datta, class XI students of New Era School, have also been named for the award.

UNI XC NK DS1525

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