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Renu doodles too, with her left hand

‘Can’t keep thinking of what i can’t do without my right hand’

Jhinuk Mazumdar | Published 07.09.22, 06:38 AM
Renu Khatun’s sketch of Lord Ganesh and (right) a pen symbolising Teachers’ Day

Renu Khatun’s sketch of Lord Ganesh and (right) a pen symbolising Teachers’ Day

Telegraph picture

The left can do what the right could not.

A young woman whose right hand was chopped off allegedly by her husband took to writing with her left within days of the violence. In defiance of the attempt to kill her dreams. But she did not stop at writing.


The 24-year-old took to doodling with her left hand and produced little pieces of magic. Now, within three months of losing her right hand, Renu Khatun doodles after completing her duty as a government servant.

“I cannot keep thinking of what I cannot do because I do not have a right hand. I keep thinking of what all I can do with my left hand, which includes all that I did with my right hand and much more,” she said.

Khatun is a slip of a woman with the confidence of a sage.

A teacher who has known her for some time said “she is stronger because she has no anger”.

Her husband allegedly chopped off her right hand because she had aspired for a government job — a secure, well paying position that would possibly change the power structure at home.

Khatun used to draw before June 5, 2022, but now she feels she is more “focused”.

“The doodles I draw now are better than before,” she said.

She does not have time to draw every day.

Her government job shift is either from 8am to 2pm or 2pm to 8pm.

Renu Khatun

Renu Khatun

Her equipment: a black gel pen and “self-motivation”.

“I constantly tell myself I cannot look back at the past. I keep motivating myself for what lies ahead,” she told The Telegraph.

Her recent artworks include an image of Lord Ganesh and a pen symbolising Teachers’ Day.

“In Bardhaman, where I live, there were beautiful idols of Lord Ganesh made for Ganesh puja. I was inspired by that,” she said.

On Saturday, Khatun received The Telegraph Education Foundation honour at the 27th edition of The Telegraph School Awards for Excellence.

The young woman handed over scholarships to girls and boys fighting hardships in their lives and her life was a story of inspiration for many.

Barry O’ Brien, a trustee of The Telegraph Education Foundation, said the determination on her face and eyes was “a rare thing”.

“People in such circumstances are usually overcome by two things, anger towards the other person and a sense of fear. But she is at peace. She knows what she is doing,” said O’Brien.

When The Telegraph asked Khatun whether she feels any anger towards her husband or if she desires revenge, the young woman answered with poise: “I have faith in the law. I believe that all those who do wrong in society should be punished.”

“But I have to keep cool. If I am filled with anger, I will not be able to move ahead or take the right decisions in my life,” she said.

She is steadily moving ahead keeping the baggage of hatred, fear and revenge behind her. Doodling is not what she will stop at.

“I want to learn karate. I have found out several places where I can learn. I feel every girl should learn karate to be able to protect herself,” Khatun said.

Last updated on 07.09.22, 08:50 AM

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