Umesh Kumar Mandal wanted to make a sketch of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. There was only one problem -- Umesh is visually-challenged.
But with the help of devices introduced by Swasti Ranjan Ray, Umesh and several others like him found expression through art and their works are currently on display at the Galerie Art Eterne, Lado Sarai.
An advertising professional, Ray has developed two special devices to help the visually impaired draw. "To help them recognize basic colours, I developed special covers for crayons with the name of the colour printed in Braille. Secondly, I created a special drawing board with a mesh net underneath so that they can feel the texture of what they are drawing," said Ray.
The idea came about when Ray realized that art as a subject is not part of the syllabus for the visually impaired.
"I think it is the most important subject for them as it is the only way for them to experience their surroundings. Understanding the form, shape and texture of objects through art, will help them get a sense of the world around them," he said.
The exhibition is a result of engaging with students from the Institute for the Blind, Amar Colony, where Ray held workshops for three months.