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The world of painting is at Lakshmi’s feet
- Polio couldn’t dent her confidence

Call it artistic footwork. Twenty-eight-year-old Lakshmi Kumari caught the attention of many as she captured the beauty of a rose with a pencil and a brush held between the first two toes of her left leg.

“Credit goes to my grit and determination,” said the resident of Bero block who was taking part in an on-spot rose painting competition held at Ranchi Club on Friday.

Organised by The Rose Society of Ranchi, the four-hour-long event saw participation from about 300 school and college students as well as special children. They were divided into seven categories and participants had to draw roses — half, full bloom with foliage and bouquets.

While there was no entry fee for the 25-odd special children, school and college students had to shell out Rs 20.

The paintings will be displayed at the society’s 84th Rose Show scheduled on January 4 and 5 at Ranchi Club where the winners will be awarded

An inmate of Gurunanak Home for Handicapped Children, Lakshmi is a living proof that ambition and hope can overcome pretty much anything. Although both her arms are polio-affected, she manages to create artworks most of us couldn’t paint even with our hands.

A graduate from Karamchand Bhagat College in Bero, art is Lakshmi’s only motivation. Having spent more than nine years at the home, she has now become a role model for other special children.

“Special children are often misunderstood. They are alienated,” she added.

For eight-year-old Rani Kumari, Lakshmi didi is indeed her role model. “Didi se humlog painting sikhte hain. Unka haath nahi rahne se bhi woh pare se painting banati hain,” she said.

City-based Delhi Public School student Uma Priya had different take. She was honest enough to admit that Lakshmi’s confidence intimidated her. “It’s really a challenge for us to showcase our creativity along with the special children. They are far more talented than us,” said the awe-struck seventh grader.

The organiser was all praise too. “Lakshmi exudes confidence,” said society’s treasurer Hazel Davis.

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