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Kerala teen without arms, legs defies odds, finds wings through art

Sandhya R

Sandhya R is always fascinated by the beauty of the hands and legs of people around her. Though born with no legs and hands, this 15-year-old girl from Kerala has never allowed her physical limitations to define her life.

Sandhya R of Pachalloor in Thiruvananthapuram, who completed her tenth grade, had to encounter so many challenges growing up without legs and hands. While she learned to eat and manage her daily chores with her half-grown hands, she has to fully depend on a wheelchair to move around.

But she wasn’t ready to give up her fighting spirit, and with unwavering determination, she embraced her love for art to take up her artistic journey. Realizing their child’s ability to draw, her parents Santhosh Kumar, 47, a casual labourer, and Rekha S, 40, a daily wage worker, took her to drawing classes on Sundays at Vizhinjam.

“It took me a while to come to terms with my physical disabilities. My parents said it was due to some genetic issue that I am like this. My aunt also had the same disability. My parents stood by me and gave me the strength to overcome the obstacles at every step. I was in a depressed state initially, but art opened a world of hope and aspiration for me,” Sandhya told “Open Digest.”

Sandhya loves sketching landscapes and portraits. Sandhya had drawn portraits of Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and Actor Madhu, which she could hand over to them in person. She is awaiting an opportunity to meet actor Mohanlal and hand over his portrait, which she has drawn.

“I am fully aware of my disabilities, and I have seen a lot of other people with disabilities. My disability seems insignificant in comparison to the plight of many others who endure far worse circumstances than I do,” she said.

Sandhya says that art has given her wings to explore the world like a free bird. “Through art, I can now express who I am, and I don’t feel disabled,” she added.

As Sandhya continues to defy expectations and carve her own path in the world of art, her life shows that there are no limitations; everything is possible, and limitations only exist in one’s mind.

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