14-Year-Old Pallabi Debnath overcomes physical challenges to shine in Solo Art Exhibition

Her journey took a significant turn when she met Muralidhar, an artist and professional art trainer, during her seventh grade.
Pallabi Debnath
Pallabi Debnath

HYDERABAD : Talent and passion know no bounds, as proven by Pallabi Debnath, a 14-year-old physically challenged artist. Her solo art show, “Support Pallabi,” organised by Dr Ina Jain at An Eye for Art Gallery, showcased around 40 paintings across various themes and mediums. On the final day of the exhibition, spectators were treated to a live painting session, offering a glimpse into Pallabi’s remarkable skills.

Pallabi was born with Symbrachydactyly, a condition resulting in missing fingers on her right hand. Despite this challenge, she independently pursues her passion for art, impressing many with her talent. From a young age, Pallabi found solace and joy in painting and drawing, winning several medals in competitions without any formal training. “Initially, no one recognised my talent,” Pallabi shared. “But as I kept painting and improving with each sketch, people began to take notice and admire my work.”

Her journey took a significant turn when she met Muralidhar, an artist and professional art trainer, during her seventh grade. Under his guidance, Pallabi explored various mediums and styles, honing her skills rapidly. Despite the constraints of being a student, she managed to complete all the paintings for her exhibition in just two months, utilising her summer breaks. “Since I’m a student, I don’t get much time to focus on art. So I drew all these paintings during last summer break and this summer break.”

Muralidhar recounted his experience teaching Pallabi, praising her remarkable progress. “I generally take classes only for adults. However, once I attended a painting competition at a children’s school as a judge, and there I saw her doing pencil sketching with just one hand. I was impressed by her skill, and that’s when I decided to help her improve. She was only 12 years old at the time. I started teaching her watercolour techniques, and now she is capable of doing any type of sketching, acrylic colours, and using all water-based techniques such as knife painting, wash colours, and acrylic on canvas. She’s improving day by day and has a natural knack for grasping various art techniques. She’s doing very well. She has already exhibited her work once in a solo exhibition with almost 40 paintings. Now, many of my elder students are helping her promote her work. Within three months, she has already completed 40 paintings.”

Pallabi’s parents, Mintu and Mita Debnath, shared that, apart from painting, Pallabi is involved in various activities, including sewing. They mentioned that Pallabi recently hosted a free painting class for approximately 100 children. They expressed gratitude towards Dr Ina Jain and Muralidhar for stepping forward and hosting the exhibition.

Sharing the idea behind the exhibition and live painting session, Dr Ina Jain said, “I came to know about her from Muralidhar sir about a month back. He asked in our group if anyone wanted to buy any of her paintings. So I said, ‘I can help.’ He mentioned that there were 40 paintings with her that she wanted us to help sell. So I decided to assist her in selling all of them. I proposed the idea of organising an exhibition in my art gallery. However, because it’s far from the city, I suggested creating a catalogue and sending it to my friends and family online. I made the catalogue and sent it out, also sharing the message in the group. Later, when my daughter put up some flyers on BookMyShow, we got the idea of organising a live painting session. Through these efforts, we’ve already helped her sell around 23 paintings, and there are more to go.”

When asked about her first impression of Pallabi, Dr Ina Jain said, “As an artist, we can discern the artistic ability and creativity of a person through their hand. So, I saw that in her and wanted to help her. I’m committed to helping her. I will try to sell all her paintings, and I’ll keep in touch with her forever.”

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The New Indian Express