When he's not teaching civic school students how to draw and paint, 48-year-old Nitin Yadav helps the police solve brutal crimes.
And now, his accurate sketches of the five accused of raping the 22-year-old photojournalist have earned him an award and cash prize of Rs. 10,000 from the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Yadav will be felicitated for aiding the city's cops for the past 24 years, 20 of which he has spent working at the Chembur Education Society school.
This is not the first time his sketches have played a crucial role in finding criminals in high-profile crimes. Within days of his making their sketches, the Mumbai police managed to trace and arrest three persons accused of killing advocate Shahid Azmi.
His sketches also recently helped the Mumbai police catch the man accused of raping a Spanish national in her Bandra home.
"This crime [the photojournalist gang-rape] had become a matter of the city's prestige. It really helped that the survivor's friend, despite being told to be on his haunches, could recount details very well," said Yadav. To ensure that there is never a communication gap between him and the eyewitness, Yadav has compiled a notebook with various physical attributes. "There are various shapes and sizes of skulls, lips, ears and so on, which the eyewitness can point to as being closest to the criminal's. This is helpful when the witness is too scared to speak," he added.
On Wednesday, Mayor Sunil Prabhu and education committee chairman Manoj Kotak announced his felicitation.
"He has been going beyond his duty and using his skills to help society. Such selfless deeds to rewarded richly," Kotak said.